Human Rights

West Virginia governor signs law protecting preborn babies with disabilities from abortion

West Virginia

On March 21, 2022, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed SB468, “The Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act,” into law.

As Live Action News previously reported:

… the law would protect children who receive a diagnosis in the womb of a “physical, emotional, or intellectual disability” from being aborted based on that diagnosis. Abortionists must submit a report within 15 days of an abortion that states the date the abortion was committed, the type of abortion procedure used, and whether or not the child killed had a disability.

Parents receiving a prenatal diagnosis for their child will be required to receive “[u]p-to-date, evidence-based information about any in-utero physical, emotional, or intellectual disability or diagnosis that has been reviewed by medical experts and any national disability rights organizations.” That information is to include materials regarding resources as well as “[n]ational and local disability rights organizations; and [e]ducation and support programs.”

An abortionist “who intentionally or knowingly violates” the law “commits an act of unprofessional conduct and his or her license to practice medicine in the State of West Virginia shall be suspended or revoked pursuant to the West Virginia Board of Medicine,” according to the law. In addition, an abortionist who delivers to the commissioner a false report will be “subject to a civil penalty or fine as determined by the West Virginia Board of Medicine.”

While pro-abortion groups may yet file suit against the law, in April of 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Ohio’s ban on discriminatory abortions. Live Action News reported at the time, “The court determined that the law did not create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to get an abortion, despite the arguments of groups that sued to block the law.”

The West Virginia law is set to take effect on July 1.

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