On the much-anticipated night of the mid-term elections, pro-life advocates had something to cheer about — voters in West Virginia and Alabama approved amendments to their state constitutions on November 6, 2018 that refute the claim that abortion is a right.
Currently, federal law on abortion takes precedence over state laws. However, if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the future, West Virginia and Alabama can immediately outlaw abortion and prevent individuals from suing over the ban.
In the state of West Virginia, the pro-life Amendment 1 passed with almost 52 percent of the vote. The amendment changes the state constitution by adding, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” The West Virginia vote effectively ended Medicaid-funded abortions in the state. West Virginia native Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, was elated with the results.
“Given the chance to influence abortion policy directly, so far tonight voters have embraced life as West Virginia and Alabama already have weighed in with legal protections,” Hawkins said. “In a world after Roe, the voters will finally get to decide what abortion policy they support, and in this election, we saw people getting ready for the day in which Roe becomes a footnote in history.”
Towards the end of last month, the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, announced a $500,000 campaign in an attempt to get Amendment 1 approved. In a statement issued in October of 2018, Susan B. Anthony List spokeswomen Mallory Quigley remarked she was confident the Mountain State would pass the pro-life measure.
“West Virginia is a pro-life state and a majority of voters are rightfully horrified when they find out that the state has used their tax dollars to pay for abortions – even late-term abortions – for more than two decade,” she said. “More than 35,000 children have had their lives brutally ended by abortion – and taxpayers have foot the bill to the tune of nearly ten million dollars.”
Almost 60 percent of Alabama voters supported Amendment 2, also referred to as The Alabama State Abortion Policy Amendment. The amendment reads in part, “… it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
The Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama campaigned for the initiative. After the election results came in, the organization released an exuberant statement on its Facebook page.
“We were told there was no chance of overcoming the battle against Planned Parenthood with the resources we had available,” the statement read. “Well, look what the Lord has done now! To Him be the glory! Thank you Alabama, for choosing to protect life!”
As anyone could have expected, Alabama Planned Parenthood Southeast director Katie Glenn reacted differently.
“This constitutional amendment paves the way to ban all abortion in the state of Alabama — even in cases where a woman was a victim of rape or incest, or if the woman’s life is at risk,” she said. “With so many other problems facing the state of Alabama, this amendment is just the wrong priority. Our lawmakers should be focusing on improving education and health care in this state — not further restricting our rights.”
While West Virginia and Alabama approved pro-life amendments, voters in Oregon failed to do so. They overwhelmingly rejected Measure 106. If passed, the initiative would have prohibited the use of state funding for abortions. Almost two-thirds of voters in the Beaver State voted against the measure. The West Virginia and Alabama initiatives were legislatively referred constitutional amendments. However, the Oregon measure was a citizen-initiated one.
The executive director of the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, David Rogers, celebrated the result. He stated, “Today affirmed that regardless of what is happening in the national political landscape, we can still make forward progress when we organize on local and state issues. We won’t let President Trump dictate what kind of communities we live in. Today Oregon’s values stood strong.”
Pray that more states will continue to adopt anti-abortion laws and for the ultimate demise of Roe v. Wade.
~ 1776 Christian