West Virginia Stops Paying for Abortions, Could Save Hundreds of Unborn Babies Each Year

State   Micaiah Bilger   Nov 12, 2018   |   4:09PM    Charleston, West Virginia

Taxpayer-funded abortions are a thing of the past for West Virginians.

Last week, voters in the state passed a constitutional amendment to end the forced taxpayer funding of elective abortions. It states: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

This week, the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services issued a notice to explain how the amendment changes state Medicaid coverage of abortions. Elective abortions no longer will be covered in the taxpayer-funded program, and the amendment appears to go into effect immediately.

Now, hundreds of unborn babies’ lives could be saved from abortion every year. In 2017, taxpayers paid for 1,560 unborn babies’ abortion deaths in West Virginia, 1,217 in 2016 and 763 in 2015, West Virginia Metro News reports.

Here’s more from the report:

The agency has concluded that the amendment’s passage puts back into effect a 1993 law that would have limited Medicaid funds paying for pregnancy terminations.

The law, West Virginia Code 9-2-11, remained on the books even after being overturned by a state Supreme Court decision.

That piece of code said, “The Legislature intends that the state’s Medicaid program not provide coverage for abortion on demand and that abortion services be provided only as expressly provided for in this section.”

The law does include protections for instances where the mother’s life is endangered, if the baby has severe defects or is unlikely to live or if there has been rape or incest.

Voters passed the amendment by 52 percent, making West Virginia the 34th state to prohibit taxpayer funding of elective abortions. The amendment also will make it easier for state lawmakers to pass other laws to protect unborn babies and moms from abortion.

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It was a state Supreme Court decision in 1993, not voters, that first 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.

Alabama voters also passed a pro-life constitutional amendment last week to protect unborn babies.

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 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll also found that 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.

These are the 16 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)