The governor of West Virginia has signed a bill into law that protects babies born alive in botched abortions and penalizes doctors for allowing these babies to die.
Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill Monday, requiring abortionists and doctors to provide medical care for babies who survive an abortion.
At a ceremonial event held at the Governor’s Reception Room in Charleston, Justice signed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act into law.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, known as House Bill 4007 , carries a punishment for physicians who violate the law, to include penalties and fines.
The Act mandates that doctors save the lives of children who are born alive after an abortion and treat them like any other patient in need of life-saving care.
In a statement released Monday, Justice referred to the legislation, which passed the Senate and House with overwhelming support, as “an absolute no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.”
“I’ve said for a long time, even back before I took office as governor, that I would support measures like this because every human life — born or unborn — is precious and truly a gift from God,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable that we even have to go through this process for something that seems like it’s just common sense. But at the same time, we should be really proud that we’re defending the lives of our most vulnerable. To God above, that baby is worth it.”
The governor later tweeted, “As long as I am Governor, I will always defend the right to life of every unborn child.”
Thank you to the leaders of @WV4Life, @NRLC, and members of the @WVLegislature who joined me as I signed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act into law today. As long as I am Governor, I will always defend the right to life of every unborn child. #ProLife #WVGov pic.twitter.com/CeJKs2WA8k— Governor Jim Justice (@JimJusticeWV) March 2, 2020
Abortion supporters have called the bill harmful to women’s rights but pro-life advocates said that all babies must receive the same care.
West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz celebrated the news, telling LifeNews.com that she was thankful for the passage of the bill.
“This new law puts teeth in our state legal system to make it possible to report and prosecute these cases. The people of West Virginia want these infants to be protected,” she stated.
The measure was not without its critics, among them being Dr. Jen Villavicencio of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, an organization that has advocated for abortion on demand and abortion for minors without parental consent, Christian Post reported.
Villavicencio told the Register-Herald Reporter in January that she was concerned about how the legislation would be enforced if enacted.
“I’m worried about how it’s going to be interpreted and what’s going to happen … if someone delivers a very early pre-term infant,” said Villavicencio. “There’s no chance of resuscitation, but is somebody going to say that maybe there was? Even though scientifically that’s not the case?”