Abortion is finally banned in West Virginia, after Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced Friday during a covid press conference that he had quietly signed a total ban on the procedure. If only Justice actually understood the contents of the bill!
“I think the criminal penalties, the whole bill goes into effect, I think, is 90 days. Is that correct?” Justice asked someone off screen. After an aide corrected him, Justice told the press conference: “The bill is effective immediately. The criminal penalties are effective 90 days from today.”
It is absolutely wild that governors are not required to read the pieces of legislation they’re signing. “There’s reason and there’s logic behind it. I absolutely signed it. I’m proud of it,” Justice told the press conference.
The bill outlaws abortion, except in cases of rape or incest after eight weeks pregnancy for adults and 14 weeks for minors—only if they’ve reported the assault to law enforcement at least two days before they have an abortion. An abortion provider must be provided the police report.
“There is nothing more extreme than a law that strips people of their freedom. The limited exceptions in this bill are so narrow and so tightly restricted that it will make it extremely difficult for people in vulnerable situations—including minors and survivors of sexual assault—to get the care they need,” Alisa Clements, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement to Jezebel. “Abortion bans cost lives, and people will be denied life-saving care as a result of this government-mandated trauma.”
The governor justified his actions—as if an anti-abortion lawmakers needs an excuse to ban abortion—because of the Supreme Court. “I truly believe that the U.S. Supreme Court came out and changed this law. Basically then it passed down to the states,” Justice said.
Basically, Justice is tired of talking about abortion now. “I think we move on,” he said. Cool, cool, will do.