Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another pro-life Democrat caves

One of the great tragedies of the past three decades has been the collapse of support for the pro-life cause among leaders of the Democratic Party.  There are still many pro-life Democrats, but few who hold national or statewide office.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is (or, in any event, claimed to be) one of the few.  But last night, as West Virginia Right to Life has holding its annual Rose Dinner, Tomblin vetoed a bill enacted by lopsided bipartisan majorities in both houses of the state legislature to prohibit abortions after twenty-weeks, when the child in the womb can feel pain.

I do not know Governor Tomblin, so I cannot comment one way or another on his honesty or good faith. But if he is being truthful about his pro-life convictions, I am puzzled as well as disappointed by his decision to veto a piece of legislation that would have protected unborn babies from being killed by abortion after twenty-weeks.  He says that he was advised by lawyers that the bill was unconstitutional and by medical professionals that it was a threat to women’s health.  But only lawyers and medical professionals who were already committed to the radical pro-late-term abortion ideology the Governor claims to reject would have made such claims.  So the question naturally arises:  Is the Governor hiding behind bad “advice” that he deliberately procured to provide cover for a veto that serves no interest other than those of the powerful abortion industry and its lobby?


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