Judge blocks enforcement of pre-Roe abortion ban in West Virginia

by | Jul 18, 2022 | World

Judge’s ruling opens the door for abortion services to resume in US state in aftermath of overturning of Roe v Wade.A judge in West Virginia has blocked authorities in the US state from enforcing an abortion ban that dates back to the 1800s, as fierce legal battles continue following the United States Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade abortion ruling.
Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L Salango granted the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia – the state’s only abortion clinic – a preliminary injunction against the ban on Monday, opening the door for abortion services to resume.
Salango said that in the absence of action by the court, the state’s sole abortion clinic and its patients, “especially those who are impregnated as a result of a rape or incest, are suffering irreparable harm”.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey decried the ruling, calling it “a dark day for West Virginia”, and said his office would appeal to the state Supreme Court.
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West Virginia has a state law on the books dating back to the 1800s making performing or obtaining an abortion a felony, punishable by up to a decade in prison. It provides an exception for cases in which a pregnant person’s life is at risk.
Lawyers for the Women’s Health Center had argued that the old law is void because it has not been enforced in more than 50 years and has been superseded by a slew of modern laws regulating abortion that acknowledge a woman’s right to the procedure.
One example is West Virginia’s 2015 law, which allows abortions until 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“We applaud the court’s decision to block this archaic ban. No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term,” the …

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