West Virginia senator says victims of child rape ‘romanticize’ abusers, see them as ‘boyfriends’

After finishing, Karnes asked state Sen. Stephen Baldwin his opinion, to which Baldwin replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir.”

But again, this isn’t Karnes’ first foray into being the worst the right-wing has to offer. Karnes has repeatedly used the “groomers” argument against bodily autonomy and reproductive rights advocates.


Karnes wasn’t the only GOPer to make nonsensical arguments against abortion at the debate. State Rep. Chris Pritt tried to argue that forcing absent fathers to pay child support would “encourage” more abortions. What?

Pritt then suggested that since pregnant people don’t want to fight for child support, they’ll “go over to Virginia” for abortion care.


Last Friday’s vote on the state’s uber-restrictive abortion bill ended without a decision. The senators passed the bill with a 21-10 vote, but adjourned without a final resolution.

West Virginia Metro News reports that both the House and Senate were unable to come to a final decision or ability to agree. The primary issue was that Republicans didn’t believe the bill went far enough.

There were debates about removing criminal repercussions for health care workers and doctors who provide abortions from the bill, and a debate over the time period abortions would be allowed in the case of rape or incest, which was reduced from 14 weeks down to 8 weeks.

Essentially, the state’s conservatives weren’t happy to make any concessions on abortion access.  

Karnes called the bill without criminality for providers a “pro-abortion” bill and blamed Republicans for failing to ban the right to reproductive choice outright.

“This is not a pro-life bill; this is a pro-abortion bill,” said Senator Robert Karnes, R-Randolph, blaming some of his party colleagues who had pushed to loosen its policies. “This was done by this party.”

State Sen. Hannah Geffert, a Democrat, said about the bill: “I think we have to understand that this is no abortion for poor women. … Poor women in the state are not going to have a choice because they can’t afford to go anywhere else.”  

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