West Virginia Abortions Rise as Local Centers Expand Business, Offer Drugs

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 12, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

West Virginia Abortions Rise as Local Centers Expand Business, Offer Drugs

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 12
, 2008

Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — The number of abortions in West Virginia is up again after falling previously with the implementation of a new Right to Know law. The increased comes as two abortion centers expand the number of abortions they do and now offer women the deadly abortion drug mifepristone.

According to new data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources there were 2,038 abortions in the state in 2006.

That’s a sharp increase from the 1,674 abortions done in 2005, a low point thanks to the informed consent law. Still the number is lower than the peak, when West Virginia saw a high of 2,808 abortions in 1997.

West Virginians for Life, the statewide pro-life group, tried to find the silver lining in the new numbers.

"Even with the increase, West Virginia continues to have a lower than average abortion rate compared to the rest of the country," the group told LifeNews.com.

WVFL said local factors likely contributed to the increase of abortions at a time when national trends show the number of abortions on the decline.

West Virginia has two abortion centers — the Kanawha Surgi Center and the Women’s Health Center of Charleston.

"After years of only performing abortions a few days a week the Kanawha Surgi Center has expanded and now performs abortions Monday through Saturday," WVFL explained. "Furthermore the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia now offers the abortion drug RU 486.

WVFL also suggests the expanded number of abortions was aided by the continuation of taxpayer funding of abortions.

"Abortion clinics in West Virginia have received over five million dollars from the state since the West Virginia Supreme Court issued the Panepinto decision in 1993," the group told LifeNews.com.

The Panepinto decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court required the state to pay for abortions for poor women, even though the federal Supreme Court has upheld federal limits on tax-funded abortions.

Abortions have been declining in West Virginia since the mid-1990’s because of educational efforts and the passage of pro-life legislation sponsored by WVFL supporters in the legislature.

The group said the recent abortion increase "points to the need to expand our education efforts and the need to pass more pro-life legislation including legislation to defund the abortion industry by stopping tax-funding of abortion."

Related web sites:
West Virginians for Life – https://www.wvforlife.org