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Senate Clears Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Abortion

Will Price
West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has adopted a resolution that says the state constitution grants no right to an abortion or the funding of the procedure.

Senate Joint Resolution 12 was adopted on a 25-9 vote. Democrat Senators Prezioso, Unger and Woelfel joined all 22 Republicans to vote yes on the measure.

The resolution would add one line to the West Virginia state Constitution and states: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."

The measure now heads to the House of Delegates, where it needs 67 votes of approval. The Republican majority in the House holds 64 seats.

If approved by the Legislature, the issue would then make its way to the November ballot for the general public to decide.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Trump says the resolution would allow the legislature to control taxpayer funding of abortions through Medicaid.

State data show that 1,560 Medicaid-funded abortions took place in state fiscal year 2017 at the cost of about $330,000.


A native of Washington, West Virginia, Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. After bouncing around a variety of newsroom roles at WVPB, he now focuses on state-level politics and government, as well as breaking news. Dave plays on the world's best-worst softball team, Chico's Bail Bonds. He can be reached via email at dmistich@wvpublic.org and you can follow him on Twitter @davemistich.

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