Editor’s note. The following is a letter to the editor written by Wanda Franz. Ph.D., president of West Virginians for Life.
In a recent Letter to the Editor, a contributor wrote that we should vote no on Amendment 1. This letter is a total misrepresentation of the facts and the law.
Amendment 1 will stop taxpayer funding of abortion in West Virginia. It will not ban abortion in all cases, as claimed by the writer of the letter. It will remove abortion and state funding of abortion from the state constitution and return control of the abortion issue to the state legislature where it belongs under the terms of the Constitution.
In 1993, the state legislature passed WV Code §9-2-11, which banned taxpayer funding of abortion except in the cases of medical emergency, rape, incest and fetal anomaly. The law was challenged and the State Supreme Court of West Virginia overturned implementation of the law on the grounds that the State Constitution contained the right to taxpayer funding of abortion. Three of the five Supreme Court judges determined taxpayer funding for the people of West Virginia.
No one believes the State Constitution passed at the time of the Civil War contains any such provision. Indeed, a law passed in the late 19th Century outlaws abortion in the state of West Virginia and it has never been removed or amended by the state legislature.
It was voided by the 1973 Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and women have been having abortions in West Virginia ever since.
In the last Legislative Session, the Legislators passed the resolution for Amendment 1 by a bipartisan majority of more than 2/3’s of both houses. The legislators have given the people of West Virginia the opportunity to vote directly on their right to avoid paying for elective abortions.
Since 1977, we have paid $10 million for around 35,000 abortions. It is time to end this abuse of the West Virginia taxpayer.
When Amendment 1 passes, WV Code §9-2-11 will again be in effect and none of the horror stories claimed by the author of the letter will occur. Women will still have access to abortions and those who want elective abortions will have to pay for them themselves.
Don’t be fooled by lies and misrepresentations. Go to the webpage YESon1wv.com for accurate information.