Tomblin’s Veto: Bad for Democrats
Conservatives Salivating at Opportunity to Take the House
by Kristen Day
Pro-life Democrats are deeply disappointed with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 4588). The legislation will ban abortion after 20 weeks (or 22 weeks post fertilization).
Conservatives are salivating at this as opportunity to smear pro-life Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate with a “guilt by association” strategy and attempting to write a script to assist with a Republican takeover. Kristan Hawkins, President of the conservative Students for Life group theorized that,
“the democratic leadership thought of the perfect “House of Cards plan. They allowed the bill to quickly come up for a vote, foregoing the usual debates in committee and educational citizen hearings. Worried about losing the House to Republicans in 2013, this allowed their vulnerable members to be on record voting pro-life. The whole time, they knew the Governor would veto the bill.”
Let me be clear, Governor Tomblin was wrong to veto the bill, but in no way was there a conspiracy to provide protection for pro-life Democrats in 2014. In fact, the veto is having quite the opposite effect, as conservatives are jumping on this opportunity to challenge the pro-life credentials of these pro-life Democrats.
Hawkins further stated that, “we need leadership on both sides of the aisle”. On which side of the aisle do we need leadership?
The Democrats control both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The legislation was proposed and supported by Democrats. Not a single Republican cosponsored the House bill. Nineteen of the 29 votes in the Senate were Democratic. A majority of delegates supported the bill.
The pro-life Democrats are proud of the legislation and share my frustration that a self-avowed pro-life Democrat would veto it. What are pro-life Democrats saying?
“I did it for the ones that can’t speak yet. The easiest vote this year.”
“All I could think about was my little girls ultrasounds before she was born. That was good enough for me.”
“It is my goal to always fight for the unborn. I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation.”
The truth is the Governor’s veto is causing more harm than good for Democratic candidates. Democrats have a slim 53 to 47 majority in the House of Delegates, and this false narrative presented by the conservatives and enabled by the veto is designed to trick voters into believing that the Republicans are solely responsible for the pro-life legislation, all in the hopes of swinging the House of Delegates to the GOP.
Pointing fingers and laying blame will not get the job done.
At this time, we have a strong pro-life majority. Pro-lifers, regardless of Party, should join us in demanding that the Governor Tomblin bring the legislature back for a special session. This will allow the Democratic majority, along with Republican pro-lifers, to overturn the veto.