CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A draft saying that the U.S. Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked Monday night, spurring concerns across the country that the right to an abortion could be extremely limited or eliminated for women in several states.
With the national decision no longer dictating West Virginia’s abortion laws, the right-leaning state would likely see quick restrictions.
Back in December, Stacker asked the same question, what would happen without Roe v. Wade in West Virginia, and said that West Virginia is at “high risk” of seeing abortion limiting policies. Although there are only two working abortion facilities in West Virginia, Stacker estimated that abortions in the state would decline by 15.5% if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
Protests against the case being overturned are already starting in West Virginia as well as Washington D.C.; one is planned for Tuesday evening in Morgantown and will be attended by West Virginia lawmakers who support the right to abortion.
But most West Virginians and lawmakers are in favor of restricting abortion. In 2018, 52% of West Virginia voters decided to amend the state’s constitution and ensure abortion is not protected if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Back in February, the West Virginia House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks, and in March, Gov. Justice signed a law that prevented abortion based on disability of the child.
But would West Virginia completely ban abortions if Roe v. Wade was overturned?
Some states have enforced “trigger laws” which would immediately ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. West Virginia is not one of the 12 states with such laws, but it does have an unenforced pre-Roe ban. This means that before 1973, West Virginia had a law banning abortions, and if Roe v. Wade was overturned, that law could be enforced again after almost 50 years of being deemed unconstitutional. See what states would be affected if Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Back in December, the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade was first introduced to the Supreme Court, and West Virginian officials gave comments about their opinions on the case. Read those statements and opinions.