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Q&A on two WV abortion bills — including a constitutional amendment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Earlier this legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers began working to pass a bill they hoped would undo a 1993 state Supreme Court decision and allow them to ban nearly all Medicaid-funded abortions in the state. Later, they introduced a resolution meant to make sure the bill wasn’t ruled unconstitutional.

The second bill involves changing the West Virginia constitution, and several advocacy groups in West Virginia said they are worried about the repercussions. The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about what’s going on with these bills at the Legislature.

What will the bills do?

In 2017 in West Virginia, a single woman making up to about $17,000 was eligible for a Medicaid-funded abortion. About 1,500 of those abortions took place, at a cost of about $320,000, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

House Bill 4012 aims to keep tax dollars from being spent on those abortions.

“If she doesn’t want to look bad in a bathing suit, she can have an abortion paid for by the state,” said Karen Cross, who lobbies for the National Right to Life Committee. “We believe most taxpayers would limit that.”

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