CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia’s legislative leaders, Senate President Craig Blair and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, have released a statement that gives further details on the future of legal abortions in the state after the Supreme Court’s decision Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Several states have already signed bills effective banning abortions, however, West Virginia is not one of them. West Virginia is also not one of the 13 states with trigger bans in place that would criminalize abortions with only a signature following the decision.
However, Blair and Hanshow said that the state legislature is prepared to pass laws that reflect what they think West Virginians want and “protect as many innocent lives as possible.”
The full statement is as follows:
We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to affirm that every human life is precious. We stand strong with the majority of West Virginians who have shown us and told us they believe unborn children are entitled to the same rights as everyone, and we are ready to expeditiously take any necessary steps to ensure we continue to save and protect as many innocent lives as possible in West Virginia.
Our legislative attorneys have been preparing for this decision for weeks. Abortion is addressed in numerous statutes in West Virginia Code, and now our attorneys will need to further review those statutes to determine how they apply in light of this decision. We will work with the executive branch to address any needs relating to our state’s abortion laws that may arise from today’s opinion.West Virginia’s Senate President Craig Blair and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw
Democrats in the West Virginia State Senate feel differently, with Sen. Mike Caputo, who represents Marion County, saying:
I am so, so bitterly disappointed in our United States Supreme Court. The courts should be a place devoid of politics, but this decision and its majority opinions—both leaked and published—are overtly political.
Protections that have been in place for women and pregnant people for fifty years have been overturned. We have lost legal protections from government control of personal medical decisions and a person’s right to choose their own future.
Being a parent and a grandparent has been one of my greatest joys in life. It is one of the best choices my wife and I ever made. But it was just that—a choice. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not to be a parent.
I believe every person should be able to control what happens to their body, and that decision should be made with a sober heart in the consultation of medical professionals—not politicians.
I am proud to remain pro-choice. I encourage constituents who are angered, saddened, or moved by the SCOTUS decision to take those emotions to the polls in November.Senator Mike Caputo (D- Marion)
A coalition of activist groups announced Friday night vigils in support of abortion hours after the Supreme Court’s decision was announced.
Gov. Justice also said on Friday that he would be willing to call a special session so that West Virginia can clarify its laws that are affected by the SCOTUS decision.