West Virginians to vote on constitutional Amendment 1
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
In the upcoming election, West Virginia voters won't just be choosing candidates, but also will be voting on issues that affect the state constitution. One of those issues is Amendment 1.
Amendment 1 is known as "no constitutional right to abortion," and is just one sentence on the ballot. Voters across the state will be asked to change the constitution to read that nothing "secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."
"Currently, money is being spent by the taxpayers to pay for abortion in West Virginia, elective abortions," said West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Melody Potter.
Potter is for the amendment and said the tax dollars used are in Medicaid.
Those against the amendment said it's not just about that issue.
"If it was only about that Medicaid funded abortion they would have left the language to say that it was only about taxpayer funding for abortion," said Vote No on Amendment 1 Coalition spokesperson Julie Warden.
Warden said this potential constitutional change will chip away at abortion rights.
"There is no protection for victims of rape or incest, and there is no protection for a woman who may be pregnant and have a health care decision she has to make or her life at risk," Warden said.
Warden added there is no guarantee for those protections in the amendment. Supporters said that is not the case and those scenarios would be protected.
"When this amendment passes on the ballot, we will revert back to West Virginia Code 9-2-11, which in certain cases women can still get taxpayer-funded abortions," Potter said.
Potter adds people have rights to abortion but believes they should pay for it themselves.
Both sides said they hope the voters inform themselves about this critical issue.