The states of Alabama and West Virginia have passed a pair of remarkable constitutional amendments that will ensure that unborn babies are given greater protection.
In a vote that coincided with Tuesday’s midterm elections, Alabama saw some 60 percent vote in favor of recognizing “the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.” In West Virginia, a pro-life measure was narrowly passed that declared that its citizens have “no right to abortion.” Further, neither state will be required to fund terminations with taxpayer dollars.
Alabama’s “Amendment 2” will seek to ensure “the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.” Incredibly, an additional constitutional amendment that passed through Tuesday’s vote will give public officials the authority to display the Ten Commandments on public property. “Amendment 1” sailed through with 71 percent of the vote.
“I think this sends a strong message not only to the state but to the whole nation that this country is founded upon the principle of the Ten Commandments, and I think it will be a step forward,” said Sen. Gerald Dial, the amendment’s sponsor, as reported by The Montgomery Advertiser.
West Virginia’s “Amendment 1” got on the ballot after 15 Republican state legislators sponsored it in the legislature. According to Ballotpedia, the Senate then “rejected changes to the amendment to make exceptions for abortion in cases of rape or incest, or if determined necessary to save the life of the mother.” However, following a vote in the Senate, it was eventually agreed that the amendment would be put before the public in the midterm elections.
The landmark amendments were passed as contingencies in case the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. If this were to happen, the recent alterations mean that abortion would not be legal under the state’s respective constitutions. Though the confirmation of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh has stoked both hopes and fears that the landmark ruling could be reversed, Kavanaugh himself has repeatedly denied that this would be an intention of his while he sits on the Supreme Court bench.
“Given the chance to influence abortion policy directly, so far tonight voters have embraced life as West Virginia and Alabama already have weighed in with legal protections,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, according to The Washington Times.
Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota and South Dakota have passed “trigger laws” that would automatically ban abortion at the state level if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. The laws would make performing or prescribing an abortion a felony, and were passed between 2005 and 2007.