Letter to the Editor
As family doctors, our patients trust us to arm them with the knowledge to make good decisions about their health, but not to make those decisions for them.
On the ballot is a vote that will take away this freedom.
This amendment is not really about abortion. It is not written to protect the lives of unborn babies or save our state money. It is a cynical and calculated effort by outsiders to manipulate the November election to ensure that passionate conservative voters come to the polls and vote a straight republican ticket. These outsiders are not interested in the lives of hardworking West Virginians or saving fetuses but are very interested in consolidating their own power. These outsiders see West Virginia’s republican politicians as easy pawns for their own agenda.
Don’t be fooled by people who tell you that this is just an amendment to stop spending medicaid dollars for elective abortions. They will cite that 10 million tax dollars have been spent since 1977 in West Virginia on elective abortions. They will reassure us that access a safe abortion just not one paid for by tax dollars. These are lies.
This amendment could change our state constitution to strip women of their rights to a safe abortion with a doctor (EVEN in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is threatened) if Roe v. Wade are overturned. This amendment will interfere with your right to have a discussion with your doctor about your health. This is the first amendment which will limit the rights of West Virginians, not ensure their freedoms or independence. Is this what we want from our constitution? Are these the politicians we want making laws about West Virginia?
This amendment was crafted not by any West Virginian lawmaker, but by a group of well paid lobbyists in Washington DC.
Our state is battling an opioid epidemic that is slaughtering an entire generation of young people, leaving 6,680 foster children with no parents to raise them, our state law makers are insisting that our priority right now is to strip its citizens of their basic rights and pose it as a ruse to save West Virginia tax payers. Nonsense. The opioid crisis is but one of many tough problems West Virginia faces right now. This amendment is a distraction, meant to divide us over other more pressing issues on which there is common, bipartisan support.
West Virginia has a long history of fighting for our individual rights, standing up for ourselves and respecting our neighbor’s independence. If this right is stripped what will stop these law maker’s from removing other rights that we believe are inalienable? People make the best decisions for themselves when they are given the knowledge and chance to make those choices for themselves.
We will be voting NO on amendment 1 in November. Stand up for your constitutional freedoms, and vote no with us.
Dr Mary Gainer
Dr. Peter Wenztel