West Virginia Amendment One
The “No Constitutional Right to Abortion" Amendment
What is West Virginia Amendment One?
On November 6, 2018, Amendment One will be on the West Virginia ballot for voters to decide whether women have the right to have an abortion. Amendment One is the single greatest attack on women’s reproductive health in West Virginia’s history.
If it passes, the state constitution would no longer protect a woman’s right to abortion under any circumstances. Amendment One does not provide exceptions for rape, incest, or life endangerment. If passed, Amendment One would change our state constitution to include the following language:
“Nothing in this constitution secures or protects the right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."
Amendment One is part of a larger agenda to push abortion our of reach in our state. It would radically change West Virginia’s 146-year-old constitution from a document that protects our rights into a document that tells us what rights we do not have.
Nationally, abortion opponents are trying to pass laws that push abortion out of reach because they cannot make it illegal due to federal protections granted by Roe v. Wade. That is exactly why Amendment One will be on the West Virginia ballot this November.
What happens if Amendment One passes?
If Amendment One passes, women who receive health care through West Virginia Medicaid will no longer cover abortion care. Medicaid-insured women will have to scrape up money to cover their abortion, delay their care and, travel hundreds of miles away.
Amendment One would open the door for politicians to interfere with a West Virginian’s personal health care decisions. When a woman has decided to end a pregnancy, it is important that she has access to safe health care without political intrusion. Health care decisions should be made between a person and their doctor – not lawmakers.
President Trump has promised to only appoint judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who will work to dismantle Roe v. Wade. If Amendment One passes, it could pave the way to criminalize abortion in West Virginia.
What are the dangers of Amendment One?
- The West Virginia Constitution will no longer protect the right to abortion even in the most extreme cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. Women could be forced to carry pregnancies to term that could harm their mental and physical health.
- West Virginia Medicaid will no longer pay for abortion coverage, and low-income women will have to find the money to pay for their health care when they make already be struggling to make ends meet.
- It would pave the way for unnecessary restrictions and bans on health care that force women to delay the care they need and travel long distances outside of their community to terminate a pregnancy.
- Amendment One could lead to the criminalization of abortion in West Virginia. Doctors, nurses, and women seeking abortion care could face punishment and imprisonment.