A proposed amendment to the West Virginia constitution will be on the ballot this midterm election. The amendment states “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
Currently, abortions in the United States are legal in the first trimester under Roe V. Wade, although states are allowed to pose certain restrictions. Under West Virginia state law, any minor who is not emancipated is required to notify at least one of their parents prior to the abortion. There also must be a 24-hour waiting period during which the woman must receive information concerning the abortion, including alternatives, according to the Woman’s Right to Know Act.
It is important to note that while the amendment will not immediately bring change to the current laws concerning abortions in West Virginia, the repercussions in the future could be devastating in terms of women’s rights. If this amendment is passed, it will pave the way for further restrictions to abortion in West Virginia. Advocates for abortion rights would no longer be able to use the West Virginia constitution to protect a woman’s right to abortion.
Furthermore, there is a chance Roe V. Wade could be overturned in the national government. If this were to happen, West Virginia could effectively ban abortions because there would be nothing in the state constitution to protect that right.