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Protecting abortion survivors through new legislative action

It is a great day when West Virginians of all political stripes come together to protect innocent human life and make our state a more compassionate place. This week we will have just that opportunity.

The Legislature passed House Bill 4007, known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, with overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans. The legislation will require that if a baby is born alive during an abortion procedure-and babies do sometimes survive attempted abortions-the same degree of medical care provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age be provided to a baby that survives an abortion.

This law is needed because current federal policy insufficiently protects babies who are born alive following an attempted abortion. Under current federal law, babies who survive an abortion are left defenseless because there are no laws that require medical providers to treat a baby who survives an abortion as they would any other newborn.

I applaud President Donald Trump and our federal Congressional delegation for supporting the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act at the national level. Unfortunately, the partisan divide in Washington may prevent such a vital piece of legislation from ever becoming federal law.

We cannot fathom what unborn West Virginians will accomplish, what innovations they will champion, and how they may change the world.

We know that every human life –born and unborn — is precious and a gift from God. As long as I am your Governor, I will work to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to achieve the destiny that God has ordained for them.

When the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act reaches my desk, I will proudly sign the bill into law so that innocent babies who survive an abortion are protected and to ensure they receive lifesaving care.

— Jim Justice is the 36th governor of the state of West Virginia.

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