Capitol Report

WVFL Legislative Coordinator John Carey
John Carey

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.

Name Party District Counties
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