A major pro-life organization has launched a $500,000 campaign to support an amendment to the West Virginia constitution that if passed would state that there is no right to an abortion.
Next week, West Virginians will vote on Amendment 1, which if passed would add a section to Article VI of the state constitution that reads "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."
In an announcement made Monday, the Susan B. Anthony List stated that they will oversee a half million-dollar campaign in favor of Amendment 1.
This campaign will involve ads on television, online, and radio as well as voter mailings. According to SBA List, they have already had around 75 volunteers active in West Virginia working to grow support for the amendment.
SBA List spokeswoman Mallory Quigley said in a statement released Monday that she was confident that West Virginia voters will pass the amendment.
"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 decades," stated Quigley.
"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."
Also called the "No Constitutional Right to Abortion" amendment, the referendum on Amendment 1 was overwhelmingly approved by the state legislature earlier this year.
If passed, the amendment would prevent the West Virginia Constitution from being used to keep abortion legal in the state should the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
Supporters of the amendment also hope to undo a 1993 West Virginia Supreme Court decision that overturned a state law barring Medicaid coverage of abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, or when the mother's life is endangered.
Opponents of the measure, including the pro-choice group WV FREE, have denounced the proposed state constitutional amendment as "an unprecedented attack on women's rights."
"This amendment sets us up for restrictive policy after restrictive policy, year after year. Not to mention the fact that if Roe v. Wade is overturned federally, draconian language in our own state code would totally criminalize all abortion," stated WV FREE.
"This means anyone involved in an abortion would be subject to jail time. Think of it – that means doctors; nurses; a woman attempting to self-abort; a husband driving a wife or a mother transporting a daughter – access to safe healthcare would literally be criminalized in our state."