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Second House panel OKs late abortion ban bill

CHARLESTON (AP) — A proposal to ban abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks of pregnancy has passed a second legislative panel with no discussion.

The House of Delegates Judiciary Committee cleared the bill on a split vote Friday, potentially setting up a contentious debate on the House floor. Committee chairman Tim Manchin didn’t allow debate on the bill.

The late-term abortions would be outlawed unless a woman has complications that are life-threatening or could cause permanent damage. Psychological or mental conditions wouldn’t be considered.

The bill would compel physicians who perform 20-week abortions try to give the unborn child the best opportunity to live.

Under the bill, all abortions would be reported to the Division of Health and anyone who performs an abortion in violation of the bill would face felony charges.

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