The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of conception. The House approved the bill after a heated Senate debate over its constitutionality. The  20 week standard  is one that arguably challenges the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. That argument has irony --- WV is one of 17 states (including the District of Columbia) that has not repealed pre Roe v. Wade prohibitions. The completed legislation  now goes to the governor for his signature.

Gov. Tomblin has previously expressed concern that the as written 20 week from conception language does not pass constitutional muster. Counsel to the Judiciary Committee  earlier this week advised that the US Supreme Court has ruled that abortion restrictions must be based on fetal viability, which is 24 weeks.

The WV Senate turned down efforts to move restrictions to 24 weeks after the woman's last menstrual cycle. The House voted 85-15 to approve the Senate version which contains amendments.

The bill prohibits abortion after 20 weeks unless the mother's life or a serious physical impairment would occur. An abortion is allowed after that time frame if the fetus is not viable.

This legislation would require that all abortions be reported to the state Department of Health and Human Resources. Violator's could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $4,000.