Commentary: Bishop Michael Bransfield's response to Pope Francis' encyclical seems less informed by the pope's pastoral statements than by coal industry talking points.
While action on a bill that would ban abortions in the United States after the 20-week mark has been delayed in the House of Representatives, pro-life activists said they remain optimistic about efforts to restrict abortion, especially at the state level.
Several states, including South Carolina, West Virginia and Kansas, are moving forward on various forms of legislation meant to protect the life of the unborn.
Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston said he was surprised at West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have prohibited nonmedical crisis abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization.
Tomblin vetoed the bill late Friday.
"I am very surprised by Gov. Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Act," the bishop said. "For most West Virginians, this is bitter news, especially on the heels of the governor's use of his ability to veto budgeted items to cut benefits to poor children and families in West Virginia."
The proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is "a wonderful opportunity to protect life," said Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston.