West Virginia House Judiciary passes SJR 12

By West Virginians for Life

On Wednesday, the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed SJR 12 which would return the state Constitution to a neutral position on abortion and abortion funding. It reads, “Nothing in the Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”

The measure has already been approved by the Senate 25-9. It would require two-thirds’ approval in the full House and a voter referendum to amend the West Virginia constitution to take effect. If passed on November 6, SJR12 (Amendment One) will return power to the people’s elected representatives where it belongs.

In 1993, the state Constitution was wrongly changed by the Panepinto decision which required state taxpayers to pay for women’s elective abortions. SJR 12 simply eliminates the influence of the Panepinto decision so the restriction on funding of abortion is reinstated in the form it was in 1993, unless the legislature passes an updated law.

Over the years DHHR reports that West Virginia taxpayers have spent nearly $10,000,000 on approximately 35,000 abortions. Most of those were elective abortions for any reason.

SJR 12 takes West Virginia taxpayers out of the business of paying for abortion on demand. If SJR12 passes and Panepinto is revered, the law it ruled unconstitutional would be reinstated. “The 1993 law allowed for abortion to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape and incest, for fetal deformity, and medical emergency,” said Wanda Franz, president of West Virginians for Life.

“SJR 12 does not touch on the right to abortion as secured by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Franz added. “In addition, a woman has always been able to get an abortion to save her life, even before Roe vs. Wade in 1973. It is a lie to say that women will die because of SJR 12.”