CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s only abortion clinic has resumed scheduling abortions following a Monday ruling by a Charleston judge blocking enforcement of the abortion ban. 150 year old abortion.
Communications Director Kaylen Barker said Tuesday that the West Virginia Women’s Health Center is expecting aborted patients as early as next week.
“We are determined to continue like this for as long as we can,” the clinic’s chief executive, Katie Quiñonez, said in a statement. She called Monday’s decision a “sigh of relief”.
“The impacts of abortion being pushed out of reach over the past month have been devastating,” she said. “Make no mistake about it: essential health care must not depend on the whims of a court or politicians, it must be based on compassion and on what is best for life and the future. We will not stop fighting to be able to provide our patients with the care they need, not now and never.
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West Virginia has a state law on the books dating back to the 1800s that makes performing or obtaining an abortion a felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison. It provides an exception for cases where the life of a pregnant person is in danger.
The West Virginia Women’s Health Center had suspended abortion services on June 24, the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Staff members canceled dozens of abortion appointments, fearing they or their patients could be prosecuted under the old law.
At Monday’s hearing, lawyers for the Women’s Health Center argued that the old law was void because it had not been enforced for more than 50 years and had been superseded by a host of modern laws regulating the abortion rights that recognize West Virginia’s right to the procedure. One example is West Virginia’s 2015 law, which allows abortions up to 20 weeks.
Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango agreed, granting a preliminary injunction against the ban. Judge said recent laws enacted by the state legislature ‘are in hopeless conflict with the criminal ban on abortion’ and that it would be ‘unfair’ to allow conflicting laws to remain on the books .
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey denounced the decision, calling it “a dark day for West Virginia.” He said his office would appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.