John Carey
John Carey

Gaining perspective on Abortion in West Virginia


(Charleston – January 17, 2014)  West Virginians for Life (WVFL) has worked to prevent the expansion of abortion funding through the health care polices offered in the New Health Care Exchange. We have explained that 24 states have already passed Abortion Opt-Out provisions as allowed under the new ACA law, and that West Virginia is overdue in passing its own Abortion Opt-Out provision. We have pointed out that 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. It was also pointed out that states considered historically liberal, including Maine, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, all restrict the funding of abortion in some way.

West Virginia has not passed a pro-life law since 2010. Now a new study reveals just how far behind West Virginia has fallen in comparison with other states. According to the Guttmacher Institute’s year-end report, pro-life laws on abortion have been increasing nationally in recent years at historic rates. From 2011 to 2013, no less than 205 abortion restrictions were enacted in the U.S. That’s more than the total number enacted for the entire decade between 2000 and 2010. It would appear that the nation has been increasing its support for pro-life positions, while, at the same time, West Virginia legislators have not taken a single vote on pro-life issues.

These regulations break down into four basic categories.

  • Increased regulations of abortion clinics such as requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.
  • Limits on insurance coverage of abortion, particularly within the new health exchanges that have been set up to sell coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Bans on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Limits on abortions that rely on pills rather than surgery (referred to as “medical” abortions).

The time for waiting is over.

The lack of support for pro-life legislation over the years, especially in light of the progress made by the rest of the nation, justifies a new approach this legislative session. Yes, WVFL will use the committee process as its primary means of passing legislation. At the same time, it should be understood that we will now score those votes that either directly or indirectly hinder or prevent the passage of the Abortion Opt-Out Bill. This includes the moving of the Opt-Out to the inactive calendar, as well as a vote which lays over a motion to discharge, and, of course, a vote which prevents the discharging of a committee.

These are the appropriate actions to take:

  • in light of the fact that the Abortion Opt-Out was not allowed to pass last year before the exchanges became active;
  • in light of the fact that there has been little progress in advancing legislation in recent years;
  • in light of the fact that legislators across this nation have been willing to act in support of pro-life legislation;
  • in light of the fact that the House leadership has chosen to make it much more difficult to discharge legislation.

Please remain vigilant!

Your help will be needed in the days ahead, now that the Regular Session has begun. Please help others to be informed about where their legislators stand on the Abortion Opt-Out issue. We have included a list of supporters below.

Working at the State Capitol, I will keep you informed through email and social media so you will be able to respond when calls are especially needed. I am looking forward to the development of the pro-life conversation in the days ahead as legislators respond to their pro-life constituents.

• Plan to attend the Pro-Life Rally on February 11th under the dome at the State Capitol.

• Sign the Opt-Out Petition either electronically online or print out the petition.  Deadline to receive petitions is February 10.

• Contact your representatives and tell them to vote to opt-out of funding of abortion.

Below is a list of those West Virginia State Legislators who have signed the WVFL questionnaire indicating they support the Abortion Opt-Out legislation. If your representative(s) are on this list, please 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. This list is also available as a pdf document.

Senate Members Contact Info
House Members Contact Info

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, Delegate 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