On June 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent and did away with the constitutional right to abortion. The Supreme Court’s reckless decision will affect countless people in our state, robbing them of the ability to make the personal — and intensely private — decision about whether or not to become a parent.
On July 9th, we joined our friends at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, ACLU of WV, Women’s Health Center, and WV FREE for a day of dissent on the steps of the WV State Capitol. A crowd of nearly 1,000 gathered, in spite of the rain, to hear personal abortion stories, share resources and take action.
ICYMI: News coverage, photos, full and short live streams can be found here.
Decades of attacks left abortion rights hanging by a thread. That thread was cut with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but we are not defeated. We must keep fighting until every person, no matter where we live, how much money we make, or what we look like, has the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives and futures.
WV Court Blocks 150-year-old Criminal Abortion Ban
As a result of the decision, Women’s Health Center was forced to pause their abortion services, due to a pre‒Roe criminal statute that was used in the past to punish abortion patients, providers and even people who simply accompanied people to their abortion procedure. Under this law, administering or causing an abortion is a felony punishable by three to ten years in prison.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of West Virginia, Mountain State Justice, and the Cooley law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Center and its patients and staff, challenging the 1882 criminal code. Earlier this week, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tera Salango granted the clinic a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the 150-year-old criminal abortion ban pending appeal, allowing the clinic to resume providing abortion services.
However, the fight isn’t over. Click here to learn about the Women’s Health Center, their services they provide and how you can support their work. Then take action by signing their petition to repeal the “crime of abortion” in West Virginia.
Additional Actions, Events & Activist Resources
Let’s Talk About Abortion: Your SCOTUS Questioned Answered’ – Recorded discussion with ACLU-WV Legal Director Loree Stark and Women’s Health Center Executive Director Katie Quiñonez about the recent Supreme Court Ruling, what it means for West Virginia, and what’s next.
‘Let’s Talk About Abortion: Faith and Reproductive Rights’ – Recorded discussion with leaders from a variety of faith traditions to talk about the recent SCOTUS decision and how we can respond.
RESOURCES & ACTIONS:
Activist Do’s & Dont’s Guide from Liberate Abortion
Abortion is Essential to Democracy – This pre-decision series of essays from the Brennan Center for Justice series provides fresh takes on the importance of lawful abortion access coming from the democracy angle (distinct from the reproductive rights and justice angle) and focusing on issues like money in politics and the power of state courts to fight back. Several pieces, such as “The Danger of Laws Criminalizing Pregnancy Outcomes” may be of particular interest in this new post-Roe climate.
“Ours to Tell”, a short film from Planned Parenthood and We Testify, is the story of four people who live full and empowered lives because they had the freedom to access abortion. “Ours to Tell” shows us the world we could and should have — one where all people are able to access the health care they want, need, and deserve, with compassion and support.