April 3, 2014
The Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin
Office of the Governor
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
We are writing to ask you to bring the legislature back to Charleston to address your concerns with HB 4588.
We understand your concern about violating constitutional rights. Although this law challenges some common understandings of Roe v. Wade, there is room for argument on it, and pro-lifers should be pushing the courts to allow greater protection of the unborn.
As pro-lifers, we believe that all life is sacred and worthy of protection – including unborn children. As Democrats, it is unconscionable to simply ban abortion without providing necessary safeguards and to provide options and support for the pregnant woman and her unborn child. Both lives must be considered and both lives must be supported.
However, being a pro-life Democrat cannot mean accepting the broad readings of Roe that the lawyers tell us and not pushing against them, but instead proposing social supports. No, being pro-life means pushing for greater protection where possible. It doesn’t require pushing to overturn Roe altogether, but it does mean pushing to narrow it, together with enacting strong social supports.
Fetuses with abnormalities, which are sometimes subject to later-term abortions, are still human persons, and Democrats should value them fully. We should recognize how difficult these situations are for the family; that is where the social supports are crucial, but it is not a progressive act to devalue those unborn children because of abnormalities. A special session to discuss the merits of HB 4588 will also allow us to promote available social supports.
Women and families concerned with post-viability abortions should be:
- informed about and referred to perinatal-hospice, which provides a caring and supportive environment for both mother and child;
- Provided accurate information regarding genetic testing; and
- Provided adoption counseling and adoption referral information.
As pro-life Democrats, we do not fit into the agenda set forth by the conservative pro-life movement. In order to revisit HB 4588 and include these important protections for women, which come from both our Democratic ideals and our pro-life principles, we urge you to call the legislature into session immediately.
Democrats For Life of America