BUCKHANNON, West Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning reversal in West Virginia, Republicans transformed a pro-life effort to update the state’s pre-existing pro-life laws into a move to protect abortion.
“It is a pro-abortion bill,” explained Caiden Caigen, President of the Family Policy Council, to LifeSiteNews’s Jim Hale. “How egregious this is is that we’re talking about a bill that was totally clean, that would have protected countless lives in West Virginia, and these guys totally gutted it, these Roe-Republicans totally gutted it and turned it into an abortion bill.”
After Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court with its recent decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Republican Gov. Jim Justice called a special session to re-examine and “modernize” West Virginia’s age-old abortion laws. However, Republicans who had run for office claiming to be soundly pro-life began introducing a series of amendments to the resulting bill to create various exceptions for abortions to take place in the state.
As LifeSiteNews reported on Monday:
A bevy of amendments from both the House of Delegates and the Senate have not only rendered the bill’s pro-life protections largely toothless, but broadened legal protections for abortion access by authorizing exceptions and failing to implement a coherent verification mechanism.
“My expectation was that we were going to stand behind our total prohibition on abortion, which we have had in the state code since 1863,” said Republican Senator Patricia Rucker of West Virginia’s 16th District. “When someone says they want to run for office, we must get away from just saying ‘Are you pro-life or not?’ Because there’s many of these politicians who claim they’re pro-life, but they clearly have not thought it all the way through or are frankly lying.”
Rucker and Caigen’s comments reflect a larger, on-going battle over the soul of the Republican Party — will it be the party of life and family or will it compromise its principles and betray its constituents?
“I think the real problem is that too many people forgot what we’re talking about here,” elaborated Republican Senator Robert Karnes of West Virginia’s 11th District, regarding the dilemma. “If you understand that we’re talking about destroying a human life and the focus is on preventing that, we would have got an entirely different product.”
He concluded: “Unfortunately, the Democrats as well as a couple of Republicans managed to change that conversation into how the exceptions ought to be handled, how they ought to be shaped, how broadly they could make them, and what got lost in that whole mix, were the babies that we’re trying to save.”