Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

House Bill 302, which contains provisions that especially put pregnant minors’ lives at risk, now moves to the Senate

CHARLESTON, W.V. — Today, West Virginia Delegates passed House Bill 302, a bill that bans abortion in almost all cases. Lawmakers advanced and passed the bill in just three days after Governor Justice amended a previous call for a special session on Monday. During the public hearing today, lawmakers gave each member of the public 45 seconds to testify on the bill before moving to vote, limiting the hearing to less than two hours.

House Bill 302 outlaws almost all abortions, with narrow exceptions in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, ectopic pregnancies, and medical emergencies, which is defined to apply only when an abortion is necessary to avert the patient's death or when delay would cause a "serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment." 

An amendment added to the bill would allow survivors of sexual assault to access abortion only if they do so within 14 weeks of pregnancy and report the crime to law enforcement.

For minors accessing abortion under any of the allowed exceptions, H.B. 302 would require a provider to give notice to the minor's parent or guardian and would require the minor to then wait at least 48 hours before accessing abortion — even if the young person was facing a life-threatening emergency or experiencing an ectopic pregnancy that required immediate medical attention. The bill also criminalizes providers, subjecting them to three to 10 years in prison and discipline from the licensure board.

“Anti-abortion lawmakers in West Virginia would let young people die before getting an abortion,” said Alisa Clements, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “House Delegates have recklessly passed this shameful bill in a matter of days, refusing to allow for any meaningful public input and ignoring the dangerous, poorly conceived, and deadly consequences of this bill for children, women, and people in this state. The bill is particularly egregious in its treatment of pregnant minors seeking care, putting the lives of countless young people at risk. Politicians have no business criminalizing health care, and their race to ban abortion as soon as possible by any means necessary will trigger a public health crisis in this state.” 

“With today’s vote, West Virginia lawmakers have boldly ignored the will of their constituents and advanced a dangerous bill that will cost lives,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade one month ago, we’ve already seen the horrific, inhumane toll that comes with ending access to essential health care and politicians choosing to plunge people into chaos, crisis, and confusion. We cannot stand by as out-of-touch politicians vote away their constituents’ fundamental right to bodily autonomy. Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for the health and rights of patients in West Virginia and across the country. Everyone — no matter where you live or how much money you make — deserves access to health care, free of barriers or political roadblocks.”

###

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.