Vote no on Amendment 1

A piece published in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel on July 13 quotes a resolution of the WV Republican Party as stating “…the adoption of the amendment in November would end taxpayer funding of elective abortions in West Virginia.” The key word here is “elective.” It is blatantly untrue that Amendment 1 would end only “elective” abortions.

Amendment 1, as it will appear on the November ballot, states “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” Do you see the word “elective” anywhere in that language? I don’t.

There are currently several major challenges working their way through the courts that, if taken up by the Supreme Court of the United States, could enable a majority to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 SCOTUS ruling protecting a woman’s right to an abortion as a matter of privacy rights. The type of case most likely to result in an overturning of Roe is what is called a gestational ban, which seeks to restrict abortion at a certain point in pregnancy. A 15-week gestational ban out of Mississippi is currently being challenged in federal court.

With Donald Trump set to get a second justice confirmed to the Supreme Court, conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh, giving the court a 6-3 conservative majority, there is a much greater likelihood of Roe being overturned, or at least gutted.

If Amendment 1 passes and Roe v. Wade is either overturned or gutted, all abortions of any kind in West Virginia would become illegal. This would not apply just to elective abortions. There are no exceptions provided for in the state constitutional amendment.

Don’t let Republicans get away with trying to disguise the extremity of what they’re doing. Vote no on Amendment 1 in November and uphold a woman’s bodily autonomy and personal sovereignty over her reproductive health.

Eric Engle

Parkersburg

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