W. Va. Ballot Measure Would Allow Restriction, Ban of Tax-Funded Abortions

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Separate constitutional measures on West Virginia’s Nov. 6 ballot would allow lawmakers to restrict or ban tax-payer funded abortions and have some control over the state judiciary’s budget.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a resolution saying: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

It would authorize lawmakers to restrict or outlaw state funding for Medicaid abortions. Abortions would remain legal under federal law.

The judiciary budget question would allow the Legislature to decide each year whether to reduce the state courts’ budget, but not less than 85 percent of the previous year’s budget. It also would require the Supreme Court’s chief justice to answer budget questions before lawmakers.

Opponents have said the measure would infringe on the courts’ independence.