H. B. 2773
(By Delegates Cann, Coleman,
Williams and Kominar)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article two-i, relating to
banning partial birth abortions; definitions; prohibition
of partial birth abortions; life of the mother exception;
civil remedies; and criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article two-i, to read
ARTICLE 2I. PROHIBITION AGAINST PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION.
For the purposes of this article the following terms have
the following meanings:
(a) "Partial-birth abortion" means an abortion in which the
person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a
living human fetus before intentionally causing the death of the
infant and completing the delivery.
(b) "Fetus" and "infant" are used interchangeably to refer
to the biological offspring of human parents.
§16-2I-2. Prohibition of partial-birth abortions.
No person may knowingly perform a partial-birth abortion.
§16-2I-3. Life of the mother exception.
Section two does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that
is necessary to save the life of a mother because her life is
endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical
injury, including a life-endangering condition caused by or
arising from, the pregnancy itself: Provided, That no other
reasonably accessible and safe medical procedure exists as an
alternative to a partial-birth abortion for the purpose of saving
a mother's life.
§16-2I-4. Civil remedies.
(a) The woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion has been
performed in violation of section two, the father of the fetus or
infant, and the maternal grandparents of the fetus or infant, if
the mother has not attained the age of eighteen years at the time
of the abortion, may obtain appropriate relief in a civil action, unless the pregnancy resulted from the criminal conduct of the
father or maternal grandparent of the fetus or the plaintiff
consented to the abortion.
(b) Relief provided for in this section includes:
(1) Compensatory damages for all injuries, psychological and
physical, occasioned by the violation of this article;
(2) Statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the
partial-birth abortion; and
(3) If judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff in an
action authorized by this section, the court shall also render
judgment for a reasonable attorney's fee in favor of the
plaintiff. If the judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant
and the court finds that the plaintiff's suit was frivolous and
brought in bad faith, the court shall award a reasonable
attorney's fee in favor of the defendant.
(a) If a person performs a partial-birth abortion, in
knowing or reckless violation of this article, the person is
guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined
not more than ten thousand dollars or incarcerated in a
correctional facility for one to ten years, or both fined and
(b) A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed may not be prosecuted for a violation of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ban partial-birth
abortions unless the mother's life is in jeopardy. The bill
provides for civil and criminal penalties.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.