West Virginia Voters Can Vote to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 29, 2018   |   4:37PM   |   Charleston, WV

West Virginians will have the power at the voting booth in November to stop their tax dollars from funding elective abortions.

Since 1977, state taxpayers have been forced to pay millions of dollars for tens of thousands of unborn babies’ abortion deaths, according to West Virginians for Life.

Ballot Amendment 1 would change that. If approved by voters, the amendment would make it clear that the state constitution does not recognize abortion as a “right.” The amendment states, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

“The federal government limits tax funding of abortions to cases of rape, incest and life of the mother – but West Virginia will pay for Medicaid abortions for any reason,” the pro-life group said on its website. “It’s time to get West Virginia out of the abortion business.”

In 2017, state taxpayers paid for 1,560 unborn babies to be aborted through Medicaid; in 2013, about 500 unborn babies were aborted with taxpayer funds, the AP reports.

The amendment also could allow state lawmakers to pass more abortion restrictions that protect unborn babies and mothers, The Register-Herald reports.

Here’s more from the report:

In the Womens’ Health Center of West Virginia, Inc. v. Panepinto decision in 1993, the state Supreme Court found that Medicaid should cover abortion. Justice Margaret Workman, who was recently impeached by the same Legislature that voted to put this amendment on the ballot, wrote in the opinion that denying Medicaid coverage of abortion discriminated against poor women.

Since then, West Virginia Medicaid has paid for abortion. In 2017, women had to make under $17,000 annually to qualify. …

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If you want to give state lawmakers more authority over whether you or people you know can access abortion safely in West Virginia, let them possibly ban abortion entirely if things go anti-abortion activists’ way at the Supreme Court of the United States, and remove the ability of courts to serve as a check on the Legislature’s authority in that area, vote yes.

If you don’t, vote no.

Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. In October 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it. A Marist poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, including a majority of women and people who identify as pro-choice.

Voters in Oregon and Alabama also will consider pro-life ballot measures this fall. Sixteen other states also force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

Americans understand that their tax dollars would be better spent helping struggling mothers and their families, not pushing them to abort their unborn babies.

These are the 17 states that fund abortion through Medicaid taxpayer dollars:

  • Alaska (court order)
  • Arizona (court order)
  • California (court order)
  • Connecticut (court order)
  • Hawaii (voluntarily)
  • Illinois (voluntary)
  • Maryland (voluntarily)
  • Massachusetts (court order)
  • Minnesota (court order)
  • Montana (court order)
  • New Jersey (court order)
  • New Mexico (court order)
  • New York (voluntarily)
  • Oregon (court order)
  • Vermont (court order)
  • Washington (voluntarily)
  • West Virginia (court order)