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US midterms: Two states pass measures to protect the unborn

7 November 2018

 
Two states have voted in measures to protect the unborn.

There is no "right" to abortion say Alabama and West Virginia

Today, the headlines have all been about the mid-term elections in the United States. While most of the focus has been on the Democrats gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, and Republicans consolidating their grip on the Senate, and the implications of this, there have also been some major pro-life victories.

Two states, Alabama and West Virginia, have passed measures to protect the unborn.

Supporting the sanctity of unborn life

In Alabama, 59% of voters approved Amendment 2, to "declare and otherwise affirm that 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...provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion."

Representative Matt Fridy explained the purpose of the amendment, saying: "We want to make sure that at a state level, if Roe v. Wade [the decision that legalised abortion nationwide] is overturned, that the Alabama Constitution cannot be used as a mechanism by which to claim that there is a right to abortion."

No constitutional right to abortion

In West Virginia, a similar measure passed by a margin of by a margin of 17,184 votes. The passing of Amendment 1 means the Constitution will now include a line stating, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."

The measure is meant to counteract a 1993 ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that has long forced state Medicaid to fund abortions as a state-level constitutional "right."

It is yet to be seen if a conservative majority in the US Supreme Court will lead to the overturning of Roe v Wade, but some states are ensuring that, should that day come, their laws will protect the unborn. 

News in brief:

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