Daily Dispatches
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Associated Press/Photo by Steve Helber
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

Vital Signs: West Virginia governor vetoes fetal pain bill passed by fellow Democrats

Abortion

Vetoed in West Virginia. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill March 28 that would have banned abortion in West Virginia after 20 weeks. The governor, a Democrat, said he vetoed the legislation because of constitutionality issues raised by attorneys for the Legislature, the first controlled by Democrats to pass a fetal pain bill. Tomblin also cited previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions against fetal pain bills.

“The Governor has placed himself in a minority position on this bill,” said Wanda Franz, president of West Virginians for Life. A 2012 poll found 70 percent of women support banning abortion after a baby is able to feel pain. 

Abortion center opening. Planned Parenthood plans to open a $5 million abortion facility in San Antonio that adheres to new standards adopted last year by Texas lawmakers.

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Planned Parenthood South Texas President and CEO Jeffrey Hons said at a fundraising event March 24 that the facility will follow new ambulatory surgical standards, which include admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Though the facility has no location or completion date, he said his organization has raised $3.5 million so far for construction.

Planned Parenthood intends to provide services to women in other parts of the state, including the Rio Grande Valley, which no longer has a facility due to the new regulations. About 19 facilities closed after the regulations took effect, and additional facilities are expected to close in the coming months.

Suspension shortened? The Delaware attorney general’s office has recommended lifting the license suspension of Delaware abortionist Arturo Apolinario, who was linked to convicted Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Deputy attorney general Katisha Fortune said during a March 24 hearing that state officials believe Apolinario’s three-year suspension was sufficient, and that they are not recommending further discipline. The hearing officer will submit recommendations to the licensing board, which will make the final decision.

Delaware officials accused Apolinario of not reporting Gosnell for performing late-term abortions at Atlantic Women’s Medical Services in Wilmington, where Apolinario was the director, and illegally prescribing drugs. Apolinario admitted to prescribing drugs from mid-2009 to February 2011 after his controlled substances registration lapsed. The attorney general’s office dropped the claims earlier this month. 

Assault charge. A district attorney in Santa Barbara, Calif., has filed assault charges against a University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) professor who allegedly assaulted a pro-life demonstrator March 4, Life News reported. 

Professor Mireille Miller-Young faces theft, battery, and vandalism charges, according to National Review. Despite the charges, the university has yet to specifically address Miller-Young’s actions. Instead, UCSB Vice Chancellor Michael Young released a 1,000-word statement to the student body March 19 saying that “evangelical types” that visit college campuses like UCSB “can be disruptive and has the potential to draw us into the kind of conflict that puts at risk the quality of exchange of ideas that is fundamental to the mission of our university.” 

Romanians march. About 1,000 Romanians participated in the country’s fourth March for Life on March 22 at the nation’s capital. About 40 other cities also held marches, which aimed to change Romanian perceptions of adoption. Romanians view adoptive families as unnatural and consider the birthparents unfit, said Romanian Students for Life Association President Alexandra Nadane. By promoting adoption, marchers hoped to also promote a culture of life. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtney Crandell
Courtney Crandell

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