NRL News

What is Amendment 1 and how would it stop state funding of abortion in West Virginia?

by | Oct 22, 2018

Editor’s note. This is based on materials provided by West Virginians for Life, NRLC’s state affiliate.

In 2018, the West Virginia legislature passed the resolution for Amendment 1 by a bipartisan majority of more than 2/3’s in both houses. The proposed constitutional amendment will be on the ballot November 6.

The legislators have given the people of West Virginia the opportunity to vote directly on their right to avoid paying for elective abortions.

Please vote for Amendment 1 which says: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

Its purpose is to neutralize our state constitution on the issue of abortion and allow the state legislature to exercise its appropriate responsibility for control over the funding of abortion.

In 1993, the state legislature passed a law which banned taxpayer funding of abortion except in the cases of medical emergency, rape, incest and fetal anomaly.

That right was taken away in 1993 by the West Virginia Supreme Court, in its Panepinto ruling which “found” that the state Constitution contained the right to taxpayer funding of abortion.

Since 1977, the state has paid $10 million for around 35,000 abortions.

Following passage of Amendment 1, women in West Virginia will still have access to abortions and those who want elective abortions will have to pay for them themselves.

When the law adjudicated under Panepinto goes back into effect, our tax dollars would be limited to paying for abortion only in the cases of life of the mother, medical emergency, reported rape and incest and fetal anomaly.

If Amendment 1 passes in November, it will eliminate the Panepinto funding requirement and prevent future judges from “finding” abortion rights in the West Virginia Constitution.

Categories: Legislation