HomeoldWest Virginia Senate Overwhelmingly Passes SJR 12 to Rectify Pro-Abortion State Supreme...

West Virginia Senate Overwhelmingly Passes SJR 12 to Rectify Pro-Abortion State Supreme Court Decision

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Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from a post by West Virginians for Life, NRLC’s state affiliate.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia—In a decisive move on Monday, the West Virginia Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 12 (SJR 12) by an overwhelming majority. This resolution aims to address and rectify a controversial pro-abortion ruling by the state’s Supreme Court. The decision, known as the Panepinto ruling, has been a point of contention among pro-life advocates, who argue that it mandates taxpayer funding for abortions and goes against the values of West Virginians.

The passage of SJR 12 marks a significant victory for pro-life advocates in the state. The resolution proposes a constitutional amendment explicitly stating that nothing in the West Virginia Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortions. This measure is intended to reverse the effects of the Panepinto decision and restore the state’s ability to regulate abortion funding independently.

Background and Implications

The Panepinto ruling, issued in 1993, interpreted the West Virginia Constitution as requiring the state to fund abortions for low-income women through Medicaid. Pro-life advocates have long contended that this decision overreaches judicial authority and imposes an unjust financial burden on taxpayers who morally oppose abortion.

SJR 12 seeks to address these concerns by clarifying the constitutional language, thus eliminating any perceived obligation for the state to fund abortions. The resolution’s passage in the Senate is the first step toward putting the proposed amendment before voters in an upcoming election. If approved by the electorate, the amendment would effectively nullify the Panepinto ruling and grant the state legislature the authority to decide on abortion funding policies without judicial interference.

Support and Opposition

The resolution received strong support from pro-life organizations, religious groups, and many state legislators. Advocates argue that SJR 12 is necessary to uphold the values of West Virginians, who have consistently expressed a pro-life stance in public opinion polls and elections. Supporters also emphasize the importance of allowing voters to have a direct say in such a significant moral and fiscal issue.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, praised the West Virginia Senate’s decision, stating, “West Virginians have made it clear that they do not want their tax dollars used to fund abortions. The passage of SJR 12 is a critical step toward aligning state policies with the will of the people.”

Opponents of the resolution, including pro-choice organizations and some legislators, argue that SJR 12 could limit access to necessary healthcare services for low-income women. They contend that the resolution undermines women’s reproductive rights and disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations. Additionally, critics claim that the resolution’s language is too broad and could lead to further restrictions on abortion access in the future.

Next Steps and Potential Impact

Following its passage in the Senate, SJR 12 will move to the House of Delegates, where it is expected to face rigorous debate. Pro-life advocates are optimistic that the resolution will garner the necessary support to pass the House and be placed on the ballot for voter approval. If successful, West Virginia would join a growing number of states that have enacted similar constitutional amendments to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions.

The potential impact of SJR 12 extends beyond West Virginia. Pro-life leaders see this resolution as part of a broader national strategy to challenge and potentially overturn pro-abortion judicial decisions at the state level. By securing constitutional amendments that explicitly reject a state-funded right to abortion, pro-life advocates hope to build momentum for federal-level changes and ultimately reduce the number of abortions nationwide.


The passage of SJR 12 by the West Virginia Senate represents a significant milestone in the state’s ongoing effort to align its laws with pro-life principles. By proposing a constitutional amendment to counteract the Panepinto ruling, legislators aim to restore the state’s authority over abortion funding and ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to support procedures that many West Virginians find morally objectionable.

As the resolution moves to the House of Delegates and potentially to a statewide vote, the debate over SJR 12 will continue to highlight the deep divisions and passionate beliefs surrounding the issue of abortion. Regardless of the outcome, the resolution’s progress underscores the enduring importance of legislative action and public participation in shaping the policies that govern fundamental moral and ethical issues in society.

For more information on SJR 12 and its implications, please click here.

To learn more about West Virginians for Life and their advocacy efforts, please click here.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the legislative action, background context, and the potential impacts of the resolution in a style similar to the example provided.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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