West Virginia is one of 17 states that forces its taxpayers to pay for elective abortions. But that could change now that state voters approved Amendment 1 saying there is no right to abortion.
West Virginians tonight approved a constitutional amendment that makes it clear that their state does not recognize abortion as a “right.” The Amendment One ballot measure passed the state legislature in March, and West Virginians just voted for it on their state ballot.
Now that it has passed, the following language will be added to the state constitution: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
The amendment would make it easier for the state to pass pro-life laws, including a restriction on taxpayer funding for abortions. West Virginia funds elective abortions for low-income women through Medicaid.
“If Amendment 1 is ratified by the voters in November, then West Virginia will join 33 other states and the federal government in limiting taxpayer funding of abortion,” said West Virginians For Life Legislative Liaison Karen Cross, previously.
It was a West Virginia Supreme Court decision in 1993, not voters, that allowed taxpayer-funded abortions in the state.
West Virginians have paid about $10 million for about 35,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths as a result. In 2017 alone, state taxpayers paid for 1,560 unborn babies to be aborted, according to the AP.
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“We know that limiting abortion funding saves lives. In fact, 2 million people are alive today because of the federal Hyde Amendment,” Cross said.
This summer, the two major political parties in the state adopted resolutions about Amendment One. Unsurprisingly, the state Republican Party supports the measure, while the Democratic Party opposes it.
Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. A Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, including a majority of women and people who identify as pro-choice.
In October 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll also found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.
These are the 17 states that force taxpayers to fund elective abortions:
- 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)