20-week abortion ban in West Virginia becomes law

AP News
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Posted: May 26, 2015 1:49 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Abortions are now banned 20 weeks after conception in West Virginia.

The ban became effective Tuesday, despite Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's disapproval.

The Democrat vetoed it this year and in 2014, citing constitutionality concerns. The Republican Legislature overrode the veto easily this year with some Democratic support.

Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey vowed to defend it in court.

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

The law is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, which is disputed in medical research.

Opponents say it's unconstitutional and intrusive into doctor-patient relationships. Ten other states have similar bans.

The law resembles one struck down in Arizona in 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to reconsider that case.