CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia’s only Democratic national representative, Senator Joe Manchin, has released a statement on the Supreme Court of the United States’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

I am deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. It has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years and was understood to be settled precedent. I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.   

As a Catholic, I was raised pro-life and will always consider myself pro-life. But I have come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life. I believe that exceptions should be made in instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. But let me be clear, I support legislation that would codify the rights Roe v. Wade previously protected. I am hopeful Democrats and Republicans will come together to put forward a piece of legislation that would do just that.

Sen. Joe Manchin

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston-Wheeling has also released a statement:

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston applauds the Supreme Court’s decision today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. While this decision will offer greater protection for the unborn in some parts of the country, we call upon Catholics throughout the diocese to continue to foster a genuine respect for all human life throughout our country.

Now more than ever, we must show our fellow citizens that we are both pro-child and prowoman. The diocese continues to offer positive help to pregnant women in our state. We have outreach centers for pregnant women, counseling services to help women respect and cherish their unborn child, and outreach centers that provide parenting classes, baby clothes, diapers, and formula for mothers in need.

But our work is certainly not done. We must continue to strive to foster a culture of life in our society. We must strive ever more ardently to respect all life, from conception to natural death. This respect cannot be just for babies in the womb and their mothers. So too must we respect children in schools, those who attend churches, even those who just go to grocery stores to buy food—that they may do these things without threat of violence against them. We must show our respect for all life by working to drive out racism and gun violence from our midst.

Every life is a gift from God. Every life is precious and deserves our respect and help. I call on all West Virginia residents to work together toward fostering a culture of life in the Mountain State.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Manchin’s fellow West Virginia senator, Shelley Moore Capito, has also released a statement, saying she supports bringing the decision back to each state.

By overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court has returned this issue to the states to make their own determination. I support this decision, and I would expect West Virginia to support this decision as well. This ruling does not create a federal ban on abortion, as has been suggested by some of my colleagues. Many feel strongly on this issue, but I condemn violent rhetoric and threats towards the Supreme Court Justices. I will continue to oppose extreme legislation at the federal level, and will follow debates in state legislatures, including in West Virginia, on this issue.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

Other West Virginia officials, including Gov. Jim Justice, Attorney General Morrisey, Congresswoman Carol Miller and Congressman David McKinley have also released statements regarding the decision.