by Steven Ertelt
January 30, 2007
Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates are rallying around legislation that would prohibit West Virginia taxpayer funds from financing abortions. The state has used public funds to pay for abortions for poor women since a court overturned a previous funding ban in 1993.
The bill, backed by West Virginians for Life, would prohibit state Medicaid dollars from going towards abortions except in very rare cases where the mother’s life is in danger and in cases of rape or incest.
The pro-life group tried to ban taxpayer funding of abortions years ago and got a bill through the state legislature. However, the state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 in 1993, in what is known as the "Panepinto Decision," that the law is unconstitutional.
The group has been waiting for the makeup of the state’s high court to change so it could try again.
"West Virginia is one of only 18 states that uses tax dollars to pay for abortions on demand," the group told its members.
The latest figures from the state health department show that $237,000 was spent on 798 abortions for fiscal year 2006.
"The federal government requires that we pay for abortions for rape, incest and life of the mother, yet you are forced to pay for abortions for any reason, even as a method of birth control," the pro-life group says in supporting the bill.
However, West Virginia Free, the state’s pro-abortion group, opposes the bill and says that it would discriminate against poor women because they don’t have the same access to abortion as those who can afford it.
Related web sites:
West Virginians for Life – https://www.wvforlife.org