A judge in West Virginia’s capital has blocked enforcement of the state’s 150-year-old abortion ban, opening the door for abortions to be resumed in the state
By Caity Coyne, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tera Salango issued a preliminary injunction Monday to stop enforcement of a 19th-century abortion ban that she said is “too vague” to apply as is, clearing the way for abortions to potentially resume in West Virginia.
The law, which was adopted by West Virginia from the Virginia constitution when the former became a separate state more than 150 years ago, criminalizes abortion as a felony for any woman who receives the care and any physician who administers it. Those found guilty under the statute could face three to 10 years imprisonment.
Salango, in explaining why she believes the injunction is “appropriate,” said it’s clear there are conflicts that exist between more modern laws and the one from the 1800s. If the older law remains on the books, she said, prosecutors could use their own personal discretion to determine what is and is not illegal, and such decisions would not be obvious to residents of the state…