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Editorial: WV Legislature should stop politics, end attacks on women’s health issues, access to abortion

Strident social conservatives are at it again at the state capitol, trying to gin up reasons to pass legislation that would restrict access to abortion for all women – especially the poor – in West Virginia.

Don’t be fooled by the political deception. This isn’t about claiming the moral high ground, though these sanctimonious prigs are preening and posturing as such. It’s all about putting a measure on the ballot this fall to change the state’s constitution that might convince more like-minded conservatives to get off their backside and cast a ballot – against abortion rights and for their candidacy.

This is about them, folks, not about you – especially if you are female.

After pushing the resolution through its chamber on a preliminary vote on Thursday, the state Senate will cast a final vote today on whether to advance a constitutional referendum on the Legislature’s ability to restrict abortion rights. It is an effort that could change women’s access to reproductive health in West Virginia.

The resolution reads, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”

If the resolution makes its way to the ballot, voters would decide in November if they would be OK with banning Medicaid from funding abortions in the state.

Forget the fact that a state Supreme Court of Appeals decision ruled such legislation unconstitutional – way back in 1993. In Women’s Health Center of West Virginia, Inc. v. Panepinto, then-Chief Justice Margaret Workman wrote in the majority opinion that the law at the time, similar to its 2018 cousin, was unconstitutional because it discriminated against poor women who could not afford abortions without Medicaid.

Forget Roe v. Wade, too. That, of course, is the landmark decision issued 35 years ago – by the United States Supreme Court. By a rather significant 7-2 majority, the court ruled that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

The court asserted that the “right of privacy … is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

In other words, hands off, senator. That is her decision, not yours.

Evidently, none of this news has reached Senate chambers in Charleston.

Read the entire editorial at

Read more articles in The Register-Herald of Beckley

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