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W.Va. Lawmakers Nix Veto, Put 20-Week Abortion Ban Into Law

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers have overridden a veto on a bill prohibiting abortion 20 weeks after conception.

The Senate's 27-5 vote Friday cemented the ban into law. The House voted Wednesday. Overriding policy vetoes requires a simple majority.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill Tuesday, citing constitutionality concerns.

Tomblin, an anti-abortion advocate, said the legislation is similar to what he vetoed last year.

The Republican Legislature passed it overwhelmingly this year. It passed easily last year under Democrats.

The ban provides some exemptions for women in medical emergencies, but not for rape and incest.

Proponents have cited moral grounds. Opponents say it's unconstitutional and intrusive into doctor-patient relationships.

Both bills resemble a law struck down in Arizona in 2013 that the U.S. Supreme Court later decided not to reconsider.  

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