MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A coalition of West Virginia activist groups has set up vigils across the state, including in Morgantown, after the United States Supreme Court Friday announced a decision with the effect of overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision means states can now make laws restricting abortion.
Hours after the decision was announced, the West Virginia Citizen Action Group announced a series of vigils:
- Beckley – Robert C. Byrd US Court House, 7 p.m.
- Charleston – Robert C. Byrd US Court House, 8:30 p.m.
- Lewisburg – Greenbrier County Court House, 7 p.m.
- Parkersburg – Planned Parenthood Vienna, 7 p.m.
- Shepherdstown – Main St. at Shepherd University, 7 p.m.
- Wheeling – Heritage Port, 7 p.m.
The Women’s Health Center of West Virginia, American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV), Planned Parenthood and WV Free are organizers of the vigils.
The ACLU-WV also sent the following statement Friday:
This decision is a disaster for people in need of abortion care, and its impacts will fall disproportionately on Black West Virginians and people in poverty. Because West Virginia legislators have failed to explicitly repeal an archaic 19th Century law criminalizing abortion, providers can no longer feel safe offering the procedure in the state. We are still reviewing the decision in its entirety, analyzing how it relates to federal and state law, and aggressively exploring every possible avenue forward. West Virginians should be able to get the lifesaving healthcare they need, and no one should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will.The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia
The law in the West Virginia State Code that the ACLU-WV referred to in its statement does state that anyone who causes a woman to have an abortion or miscarriage “shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction”, though it does also state “No person, by reason of any act mentioned in this section, shall be punishable where such act is done in good faith, with the intention of saving the life of such woman or child.”