Editor's Note: With 35 days left until the presidential election, PolicyMic's Audrey Farber will be posting a daily update on the state of abortion rights in the U.S., covering legislative challenges to Roe v. Wade in all 50 states. So far, we've gotten updates on Georgia, D.C., South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire. Check back in every day to keep track!
West Virginia may be almost heaven, but how are the mountain mommas (or mommas-to-be) doing in the state, especially now that Virginia has effectively shut down all its abortion clinics?
President of WV for Life Wanda Franz thinks “it's really important for people to understand that these babies suffer terribly from abortion," so her organization backed a personhood/fetal pain bill [full text] earlier this year. Moderately conservative West Virginia is predicted to go red in November, and most of West Virginia’s politicians seem to be anti-choice. Still, the bill faced opposition from people like doctors and the reproductive justice organization WV FREE and was, ultimately, defeated.
It’s another one of those states where anti-choice Democrats are a real live phenomenon. Former governor and current Senator Joe Manchin holds “anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-gun-control views,” winning him favor in a “state with a Democratic majority but conservative values.” (Somehow, miraculously, he was endorsed by both the coal industry and mine workers.)
The current acting governor, anti-choice Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, is being challenged by anti-choice Republican Bill Maloney, who recently usurped Tomblin’s West Virginians for Life endorsement. Tomblin nevertheless believes in “the sanctity of life and will do all I can to protect that.”
Neither does Bill Maloney mince words in describing his “West Virginia values”:
Bill Maloney is proud to be 100% pro-life and pro-traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
Bill is 100% pro-Second Amendment and will defend our right to keep and bear arms.
I think we know what we’re getting in West Virginia, no matter who wins the gubernatorial election: more unwanted births and more guns.
Their abortion laws are already restrictive, including state-directed informed consent, a 24-hour waiting period, and parental notification for minors. West Virginia also bans the sale of insurance plans including abortion coverage on the state health exchange.