Amendment 1 will cost women their lives

Susan Bonasso, Morgantown

If Amendment 1 passes this November, women will most definitely die, whose deaths could have been prevented.

Amendment 1 proposes that “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” without exception, even if it’s medically indicated to save the life of the mother. (This exception was voted down by our state senators on Feb. 8, along with exceptions for rape and incest victims.)

As a labor and delivery registered nurse, I urge everyone to vote No on Amendment 1.

The leading cause of maternal death worldwide is pre-eclampsia, which is a disorder unique to pregnancy. It causes elevated blood pressures that can lead to stroke and death. This condition can only be temporarily treated with medication that is not always effective, requiring immediate delivery to save the mother’s life.

The only known cure for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the fetus. On average, between 5 percent and 14 percent of pregnant women develop pre-eclampsia. This means that if Amendment 1 passes, those women who need lifesaving abortions prior to 24 weeks (before a fetus could survive even with medical intervention) will either die here in West Virginia or travel to a state that will be able to save them.

However, not everyone can afford the travel and those sick enough would need to be transported urgently, which, with this amendment, the state would not support either.

People associate abortion with choice, but unfortunately there are particular circumstances where there is no other option but to save the life of the mother. I cannot imagine a world where I will have to stand idly by while women die, families suffer, and doctors and nurses would be forced to no longer abide by our codes of ethics.

Women you care about will be in danger of losing their lives unless we vote No on Amendment 1.

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