Abortion Opt-Out Update
by John Carey, WVFL Legislative Coordinator
West Virginians for Life firmly believes it is time for the pro-life values of the people of West Virginia to be reflected in the legislation advanced by state leaders.
At the brand new start of a new year, now is the time to take a stand and defend those who cannot defend themselves.
On September 24th during the legislative Interim, West Virginians for Life held a press conference announcing the restart of efforts to pass the Abortion Opt-Out. This legislation will ensure taxpayer funds will not pay for elective abortion coverage through the policies sold in the ObamaCare health care exchange. Recently Michigan became the 24th state to pass legislation protecting its citizens from paying for abortion through the exchange. We continue to assert that abortion is not healthcare but the taking of an innocent life and should not be part of the new health care exchange. If you agree, electronically sign the Opt-Out petition to the right of these words.
Support has come from:
• Catholic Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston
• West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists
• The Southern District of the Nazarene
• Believe in West Virginia
• Maranatha Fellowship Church of St. Albans
Today WVFL is pleased to announce that seventy-two legislators have recorded their support for the Abortion Opt-Out legislation, which will be introduced during the 2014 Regular Session. It is notable that in the House every single Republican, as well as many well-respected Democrats, have signed onto this legislation to the degree that the majority of Delegates support passage of the Abortion Opt-Out bill. However, in the Senate, it would appear that, though both Democrats and Republicans have recorded their support, they do not make up a majority of members.
This represents a good start several weeks before the session has even begun! Please remember to thank those who took the time to register their support for legislation designed to protect West Virginians from funding abortion in the new health care exchange.
While this start is encouraging, it must also be recognized that very few members of the Democratic leadership have registered their support for the Abortion Opt-Out. This is significant since the Leadership is the one who sets the agenda. It is hoped that leadership will allow this to be the year for the Opt-Out to be advanced and gain passage. Now is the time to begin contacting those legislators who have not registered their support and begin a conversation with them, which will hopefully end in their expressing their commitment to help pass the Abortion Opt-Out provision.
West Virginians for Life firmly believes it is time for the pro-life values of the people of West Virginia to be reflected in the legislation advanced by state leaders. It is also time that Mountaineers were made aware that abortion regulations in West Virginia fail to reflect the values of the people of the Mountain State. Instead these regulations reflect more the citizenry of a state like Massachusetts or New York.
West Virginia is numbered among only fourteen states which have no restrictions on public funding of abortion in any form within their state during all nine months of pregnancy. In fact, Maine, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – states which belong to a part of the country which is considered more liberal politically – all restrict the funding of abortion in some way. Some restrict funding except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger.
Instead, in West Virginia the Abortion Opt-Out died last session without being placed on the agenda of a single committee. Truly, it is time that the pro-life values of the people of West Virginia were reflected in the legislation advanced by state leaders. We will continue to call on the legislature to publicly express their support for the Abortion Opt-Out and to assert that abortion is not health care but the taking of an innocent life. We will continue to spread the message that West Virginia is not Massachusetts nor is it California or New Jersey. West Virginians are pro-life and do not want to fund the killing of innocent unborn children. We call on you to stand with us in these efforts and hold our representatives accountable for their position during the legislative session which begins on January 8th.
The time is coming soon when thousands will need to take a stand for life, a stand which must be heard in every region of the state and every committee room of the State Capitol. Let’s make the 2014 Regular Session a turning point in our state’s history – a time when it will be remembered that pro-life public policy began to reflect the values of those who are proud to be called West Virginians!
Happy New Year!
Below is a list of those West Virginia State Legislators, who have signed the WVFL questionnaire indicating they support the Abortion Opt-Out Legislation. This list is also printable in pdf format. If your representative(s) are on this list, please take time this holiday season to call and thank them for their support. If they are not on this list, call and let them know that you want them to support the Opt-Out Legislation. The Capitol Switchboard number is 1-877-565-3447. It would actually be better to call them at their individual Capitol office numbers. Find the Senate phone numbers here and the House phone numbers here.
|Ambler, Delegate George||Rep||HD 42||Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers|
|Anderson, Delegate Bill||Rep||HD 8||Wood|
|Andes, Delegate Troy||Rep||HD 15||Putnam|
|Armstead, Delegate Tim||Rep||HD 40||Kanawha|
|Arvon, Delegate Karen “Lynne”||Rep||HD 31||Raleigh, Wyoming|
|Ashley, Delegate Bob||Rep||HD 11||Jackson, Roane|
|Azinger, Delegate Tom||Rep||HD 10||Wood|
|Barker, Delegate Josh||Dem||HD 22||Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam|
|Boley, Senator Donna||Rep||SD 3||Pleasants, Roane, Wirt, Wood|
|Border, Delegate Anna||Rep||HD 9||Wirt, Wood|
|Butler, Delegate Jim||Rep||HD 14||Mason, Putnam|
|Cadle, Delegate Scott||Rep||HD 13||Jackson, Mason, Putnam|
|Campbell, Delegate Denise||Dem||HD 43||Pocahontas, Randolph|
|Cann, Senator Sam||Dem||SD 12||Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis|
|Canterbury, Delegate Ray||Rep||HD 42||Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers|
|Cooper, Delegate Roy||Rep||HD 28||Monroe, Raleigh, Summers|
|Cowles, Delegate Daryl||Rep||HD 58||Hampshire, Morgan|
|Eldridge, Delegate Jeff||Dem||HD 22||Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam|
|Ellem, Delegate John||Rep||HD 10||Wood|
|Ellington, Delegate Joe||Rep||HD 27||Mercer, Raleigh|
|Espinosa, Delegate Paul||Rep||HD 66||Jefferson|
|Evans, Delegate Allen||Rep||HD 54||Grant, Mineral, Pendleton|
|Evans, Delegate David||Rep||HD 4||Marshall, Ohio|
|Faircloth, Delegate Larry||Rep||HD 60||Berkeley|
|Ferns, Delegate Ryan||Rep||HD 3||Ohio|
|Fitzsimmons, Senator Rocky||Dem||SD 1||Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio|
|Folk, Delegate Michael||Rep||HD 63||Berkeley|
|Frich, Delegate Cindy||Rep||HD 51||Monongalia|
|Gearheart, Delegate Marty||Rep||HD 27||Mercer, Raleigh|
|Green, Senator Mike||Dem||SD 9||McDowell, Raleigh, Wyoming|
|Hall, Senator Daniel||Dem||SD 9||McDowell, Raleigh, Wyoming|
|Hall, Senator Mike||Rep||SD 4||Jackson, Mason, Putnam, Roane|
|Hamilton, Delegate Bill||Rep||HD 45||Upshur|
|Hamrick, Delegate Danny||Rep||HD 48||Harrison, Taylor|
|Hartman, Delegate William||Dem||HD 43||Pocahontas, Randolph|
|Householder, Delegate Eric||Rep||HD 64||Berkeley|
|Howell, Delegate Gary||Rep||HD 56||Mineral|
|Ireland, Delegate Woody||Rep||HD 7||Pleasants, Ritchie|
|Kump, Delegate Larry||Rep||HD 59||Berkeley, Morgan|
|Lane, Delegate Patrick||Rep||HD 38||Kanawha, Putnam|
|Lynch, Delegate David||Dem||HD44||Nicholas, Randolph, Upshur, Webster|
|McCuskey, Delegate John||Rep||HD 35||Kanawha|
|Miller, Delegate Carol||Rep||HD 16||Cabell, Lincoln|
|Moye, Delegate Ricky||Dem||HD 29||Raleigh|
|Nelson, Delegate Eric||Rep||HD 35||Kanawha|
|Nelson, Delegate Joshua||Rep||HD 23||Boone|
|Nohe, Senator David||Rep||SD 3||Pleasants, Roane, Wirt, Wood|
|O’Neal, Delegate John||Rep||HD 28||Monroe, Raleigh, Summers|
|Overington, Delegate John||Rep||HD 62||Berkeley|
|Pasdon, Delegate Amanda||Rep||HD 51||Monongalia|
|Perry, Delegate David||Dem||HD 32||Clay, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh|
|Raines, Delegate Suzette||Rep||HD 35||Kanawha|
|Reynolds, Delegate Doug||Dem||HD 17||Cabell, Wayne|
|Romine, Delegate Wm. Roger||Rep||HD 6||Doddridge, Pleasants, Tyler|
|Rowan, Delegate Ruth||Rep||HD 57||Hampshire, Mineral|
|Shott, Delegate John||Rep||HD 27||Mercer, Raleigh|
|Skaff, Delegate Doug||Dem||HD 35||Kanawha|
|Smith, Peggy Donaldson||Dem||HD 46||Lewis, Upshur|
|Smith, Delegate Randy||Rep||HD 53||Preston, Tucker|
|Sobonya, Delegate Kelli||Rep||HD 18||Cabell|
|Stephens, Delegate Dale||Dem||HD 17||Cabell, Wayne|
|Storch, Delegate Erikka||Rep||HD 3||Ohio|
|Sumner, Delegate Linda||Rep||HD 30||Raleigh|
|Sypolt, Senator Dave||Rep||SD 14||Barb, Gra, Hard, Min, Mon, Pres, Tayl, Tuck|
|Tomblin, Delegate Ted||Dem||HD 24||Boone, Logan, Wyoming|
|Unger, Senator John||Dem||SD 16||Berkeley, Jefferson|
|Walker, Delegate David||Dem||HD 33||Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer|
|Walters, Senator Chris||Rep||SD 8||Kanawha, Putnam|
|Walters, Delegate Ron||Rep||HD 39||Kanawha|
|Westfall, Delegate Steve||Rep||HD 12||Jackson|
|Williams, Delegate Larry||Dem||HD 52||Preston|
|Young, Delegate Adam||Dem||HD 41||Greenbrier, Nicholas|