West Virginia voters vote to approve Amendment One

Amendment One was proposed by the West Virginia Legislature this past session is making a constitutional change regarding funding taxpayer abortions. (WCHS/WVAH)

Amendment One was proposed by the West Virginia Legislature this past session is making a constitutional change regarding funding taxpayer abortions.

It passed with 52 percent of the vote Tuesday night. The Amendment says "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires funding of an abortion."

Senate President and Republican Mitch Carmichael said this amendment repeals a 1993 State Supreme Court decision allowing women to pay for abortions with Medicaid funding.

"It reverts to the law that statues that were in place before the supreme court decision that required taxpayers to pay for abortions," Carmichael said.

Opponents of Amendment One campaigned that the change will do more than take funding from Medicaid recipients.

"If you are on Medicaid, and you were raped, or incest or you were going to die or have some type of medical issue, you could still get an abortion?" asked reporter Ashley Bishop.

"Absolutely and the taxpayers will pay for that in current law. No question about it" Carmichael said.

The Vote No Campaign released a statement saying this passage was a "blow to both reproductive health care and constitutional protections."

The group said they would not give up and "refuse to let politicians strip away West Virginians right to have a safe affordable abortion care,"

"We should not require a taxpayer to pay for that," Carmichael said.

As for when the amendment goes into effect, Carmichael said he assumes once all the votes and provisional ballots were counted.

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