Columns/Opinion, Letters to the Editor

Amendment 1 will harm women, freedom

Bobbie Godbey, Morgantown

One of the most magnificent things about West Virginia is our sense of community. It’s this commitment to our fellow Mountaineers that ultimately pulled my small family back to the Mountain State after living states away for many years. We had a little girl and as parents, we wanted her to also grow up loving our home among the hills as much as we do.

That is why we have found the legislature’s attempt to ban abortion by constitutional amendment — without exceptions or considerations for individual’s circumstances — not only unconstitutional, but unconscionable and counter to promoting a healthy West Virginia.

Amendment 1 not only denies funding — putting less fortunate West Virginia women at even greater risk — but also denies all instances of abortion. In cases of rape, incest, extreme fetal abnormalities, or even when the life of the mother is at risk — West Virginia women will no longer have the right to choose what is best for her own survival.

Mountaineers value their freedom and that includes the freedom to access safe and affordable health care. Outlawing abortion is not only an undue burden it is dangerous. History and research proves making abortion illegal doesn’t reduce its occurrence but rather increases the death rate caused by unsafe, illegal abortions.

As West Virginians, we can stand up for our fellow Mountaineers — our daughters, mothers, sisters, friends — by voting “no” on Amendment 1 and encouraging our representatives to shift their focus and commit to improving access to family planning and comprehensive women’s health services. Not only is this safer for our West Virginia women, it is also a worthy investment in the betterment of our state and our community.