The bill now goes to the Senate.
The vote came late Wednesday afternoon, delayed more than 90 minutes by a lengthy three-hour caucus of Democrats in the House chamber. Indications are that a main topic of discussion during the lengthy closed-door meeting was Tuesday's 48-48 vote blocking a discharge motion to bring a bill to ban abortions of fetuses after 20 weeks' gestation (HB2364) to the House floor.
Afterward, House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said that was one of several issues "that had built up over the session" that was addressed in caucus. He added that it was not appropriate to discuss caucus topics at length.
As for whether there will be another attempt to discharge the bill, currently in the House Health and Human Resources Committee, Miley said that would be up to House Republicans. However, he said it's probably unlikely.
"They don't have another right-to-life day to pander to," Miley said, referring to Tuesday's annual rally at the Capitol of West Virginians for Life.
During the caucus, sources said, some delegates were pressuring Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, to put the bill on the committee agenda. Perdue could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
During the floor session, five delegates asked to be added as sponsors of the bill, called the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act": Delegates Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson; Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln; Rick Moye, D-Raleigh; Denise Campbell, D-Randolph; and Dale Stephens, D-Cabell. At that point, the bill reached the maximum 11 co-sponsors permitted under House rules, and additional sponsors could not be added.
Eldridge and Moye were the only Democrats to join 46 Republicans in voting to discharge the bill Tuesday.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.