Indicating their willingness to stand up for helpless newborns who have already been targeted for abortion but who have survived the procedure, the West Virginia Senate on Monday unanimously passed a bill to punish physicians who don’t provide care to a baby born after an unsuccessful abortion.
A lone Democrat said lawmakers wasted everyone’s time with the bill, trying to score political points with their base on a pointless statement instead of working on the state’s more serious problems, reports the New York Times.
“A child born alive who would somehow be killed, that would be murder,” said Harrison County Sen. Mike Romano, adding that the bill “isn’t going to change anything.”
The bill, dubbed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, opens up medical professionals to discipline from their licensing board if they do not care for a child born after an abortion procedure.
In a previous debate, some Republicans in the House of Delegates conceded that the bill is more about sending a political message than solving an ongoing problem, especially since existing laws already protect newborns and that the state bans abortions after 20 weeks. One Independent delegate has also noted that laws about providing medical care could change.
The House must approve minor amendments to the bill before it goes to the office of Gov. Jim Justice, whose spokesman didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment on whether the Republican would sign it into law.