The Coming Huge Fight Over Abortion — Among Democrats

by Jim Geraghty

From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Get Ready for a Massive Fight Over Abortion — Among Democrats!

So at what point can we declare that there’s a civil war within the Democratic party over abortion? Because West Virginia Democrats in the state legislature just voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Are the Democrats elsewhere just going to avert their eyes? Will NARAL give them a pass because there’s a D after their name?

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat and perhaps the worst governor you’ve never heard of, is now going to be one of the most scrutinized governors in the country:

Another bill Tomblin said he would carefully scrutinize is House Bill 4588, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That bill bans abortions after 20 weeks except in the case of non-viable pregnancies. The law is similar to others that have passed state legislatures across the country, but some of those bills have faced legal challenges. The attorney for the Senate Judiciary Committee last week cautioned against passing the bill to the full Senate, saying it is unconstitutional.

“The abortion bill obviously is one that causes me some concern because the legislative attorneys and others have said the bill is unconstitutional,” Tomblin said. “So I’ll be looking at all those aspects of it once I receive the bill.”

Note that the legislative votes weren’t even close:

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB 4588, passed in the West Virginia Senate on the final day of the session, Saturday, March 8, by a vote of 29-5. The Senate approved an amended version of the bill, which had been passed earlier by the House of Delegates. The House had to concur with the Senate changes before final passage, 83-15.

Just in case there wasn’t enough pressure on Tomblin:

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is “supportive” of a West Virginia bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and is considering backing a similar federal ban in the Senate.

“I am pro-life and supportive of the principles in the bill that was just passed in the West Virginia Legislature,” Manchin said in a statement.