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In West Virginia

After Roe in West Virginia, abortion will be illegal in most circumstances. Keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

THE BIG QUESTION

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

West Virginia bans nearly all abortions now that Roe is overturned. In a special legislative session in 2022, West Virginia enacted House Bill 302, which prohibits most abortions. 2022 W.V. HB 302. Read more about West Virginia’s other abortion restriction below.

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WHAT’S NEXT

What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, once Roe is overturned?

West Virginia is in great shape after Roe is overturned. Our top priority should be to require that even abortions done to save the life of the mother be performed by a licensed physician. No such requirement currently exists in West Virginia law.

MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

West Virginia prohibits nearly all abortions post-Roe. 2022 W.V. HB 302.

 

Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

House Bill 302 includes exceptions for when the mother’s life is in danger, as well as exceptions for if the fetus is nonviable. It also includes exceptions for rape, and incest up to 8 weeks for adults and 14 weeks for minors, respectively. 2022 W.V. HB 302.

 

Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Any physician who violates House Bill 302 is considered to have acted outside the scope of medical practice and engaged in unauthorized practice of medicine. This is a felony punishable by 1-10 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as being subject to discipline from the applicable state licensing board. These penalties also apply to the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”. 2022 W.V. HB 302, W. Va. Code § 30-3-13.

 

Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

Patients may sue violators of House Bill 302’s provisions for any other remedies available under applicable law. This provision also applies to the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”.2022 W.V. HB 302.

 

Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

The physician must perform the abortion in the manner which gives the child the best chance to survive. ​​W. VA. Code Ann. §16-2M-4(b).

West Virginia’s “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protections Act” requires physicians to “[e]xercise the same degree of reasonable medical judgment to preserve the life and health of the child as a physician would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” W. VA. Code Ann. §§ 16-2P-1(b)(1)(A).

Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes, notice to one parent is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. This provision would most likely become unnecessary when the 1848 statute takes effect. W. Va. Code Ann. § 16-2F.

 

Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

State employees may refuse to offer family planning services because of their religious beliefs. W. Va. Code § 16-2B-4.

Health care providers are not required to honor a patient’s health care decision if it goes against the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. W. Va. Code § 16-30-12.

 

Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

Yes, West Virginia’s “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protections Act” imposes requirements on physicians in the event a child is born alive during an abortion. W. VA. Code Ann. §§ 16-2P-1(b)(1)(A)-(B).

 

Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

No.

 

Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Counselling and consent are required via West Virginia’s “Women’s Right to Know Act”; however, this provision would most likely become unnecessary when the 1848 law takes effect. W. VA. Code Ann. § 16-2I.

 

Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes, a 24-hour waiting period after counseling is required; however, this provision would most likely become unnecessary when the 1848 statute takes effect. W. VA. Code Ann. § 16-2I-2.

 

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MAKING A MORE PROLIFE WEST VIRGINIA

Your state does not (yet!) have a state family policy council working on the issue of life at your state’s capitol. But the need to fight for life in your state is critical!

If you’re interested in helping start a state family policy council in West Virginia, please contact us at: Mail@familypolicyalliance.com.

And, be sure to check out the good prolife work being done by our national allies as well and find a way to plug into the #AfterRoe movement!

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