CHARLESTON, W.V. – In response to a West Virginia abortion facility’s legal challenge to the state’s law designed to protect unborn lives and women’s health, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, assisted by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, urged a federal district court Monday to leave abortion policy in the hands of the state’s elected representatives and deny the facility’s motion to halt enforcement of the law.
“The Supreme Court was very clear when it overturned Roe v. Wade—abortion policy is returned to the states and their elected representatives,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This law is clearly constitutional and we stand ready to defend it.”
“West Virginia has a strong and compelling interest in protecting unborn life and maternal health and safety; and thanks to the state’s pro-life laws, it can do just that,” added ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, director of the ADF Center for Life. “We urge the court to reject this legal challenge from a corrupt industry determined to make a profit off of vulnerable women rather than provide them with the real health care and resources they need.”
In 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, West Virginia largely replaced its previous pro-life law with the Unborn Child Protection Act, protecting unborn life from abortion in most circumstances. In this case, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia v. Sheth, the abortion facility and one of its abortionists are challenging two of the state’s health-and-safety regulations: one that requires surgical abortions to be performed in a hospital, and another that requires an abortion to be performed by a licensed medical professional who has West Virginia hospital privileges.
In their response to the abortion facility’s attempt to halt enforcement of the law filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Charleston Division, Attorney General Morrisey and ADF attorneys note that, “even under Roe and Casey, an abortion provider had no constitutional right to perform an abortion using his or her preferred methods,” and they explain how West Virginia’s legal statutes are specifically designed to protect women’s health.
In a separate case, ADF attorneys are serving as co-counsel alongside Attorney General Morrisey to defend the state’s pro-life laws from a legal challenge brought by an abortion drug manufacturer.
- Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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