West Virginia overrides veto to ban abortions after 20 weeks

The West Virginia legislature on Friday voted to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's (D) veto over banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The move comes after Republicans in Congress also tried to pass a 20-week abortion ban but had to drop the effort in January after a revolt from female members and centrists.


Anti-abortion-rights groups have shifted some of their focus to state action.

Ten states have bans on abortion after 20 weeks, according to the pro-abortion-rights Guttmacher Institute, based on the idea that the fetus can feel pain then.

There are movements in other states as well. South Carolina's House voted last month to advance such a measure. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a likely presidential candidate, said on Tuesday that he would back a similar push in his state.

A 20-week abortion ban in Arizona was struck down by a federal court in 2013 for unconstitutionally violating Supreme Court precedent that protects the right to an abortion up to the point of viability of a fetus, at 24 weeks.

Tomblin cited the constitutional issue in explaining his veto.

"As reflected in my voting record during my time in the Legislature, I believe there is no greater gift of love than the gift of life," he said in a statement in issuing the veto on Tuesday. "As governor, I must take into consideration a number of factors when reviewing legislation, including its constitutionality."