SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (DC News Now) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a sweeping abortion ban — one of the nation’s most far-reaching ones — into law last week.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June overturning the constitutional protection to abortion, only two states have passed a law to ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with limited exceptions.
“The exceptions are important but other than the exceptions I do not believe in abortion. Absolutely not,” said Cheryl Kump of Falling Waters. She supports abortion restrictions.
Those exceptions are medical emergencies and rape and incest victims until 8 weeks of pregnancy for adults, and 14 weeks for children. One Shepherd University student thought the new law was unreasonable.
“I believe the date when you’re no longer allowed an abortion is too soon because people often aren’t aware that they are pregnant until after this date,” said Sydney Fulbright, who supports abortions rights.
Under the new law, rape and incest victims must report their assault to law enforcement 48 hours before the procedure. Minors can report it to their doctor, who must, in turn, report it to the police. The procedure must be performed by a physician in a hospital, effectively shutting down the mountain state’s lone abortion clinic.
Indiana is the only other state with such a restrictive abortion ban. Their law took effect last Thursday.
While Indiana and West Virginia are the first states to impose such far-reaching abortion restrictions, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed federal law to restrict abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.