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Defending Abortion Bill Would Cost WV

PHOTO: Defending an anti-abortion bill passed by the Legislature could cost West Virginia as much of a million dollars. PHOTO of the state Capitol from Wikipedia.
PHOTO: Defending an anti-abortion bill passed by the Legislature could cost West Virginia as much of a million dollars. PHOTO of the state Capitol from Wikipedia.
March 20, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Defending the anti-abortion bill now on the governor's desk could cost West Virginia a lot of money.

Lawmakers just passed a bill that originated with a national political group connected to Republican operative Karl Rove.

It's a bill that critics say would almost certainly be overturned in court, if the governor signs it.

But the cost of doing that would be high, according to Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of WV FREE.

"It's upwards of a million dollars,” she says. “Too much money. Any amount is too much money for the state of West Virginia to be experimenting with unconstitutional legislation."

Anti-abortion groups here say the cost is justified, given what they call a clear moral issue.

But others argue political operatives in Washington such as Karl Rove have been pushing unconstitutional legislation to create an election issue.

According to Sharona Coutts, director of investigations and research at RH Reality Check, the flood of anti-abortion legislation coming out of these groups is costing the states a lot in legal fees.

She says South Dakota has budgeted $4 million, Kansas has spent more than $1 million and other states are seeing similar costs.

"One of the Republicans that we spoke to said, 'We are anti-big spending. Why is it that we are pushing forward with laws when we know it is going to saddle taxpayers?'" Coutts points out.

For West Virginia, the cost could come as added work for the Attorney General's office or as fees for outside lawyers.

Chapman Pomponio says the money would be better spent on efforts such as preventing sudden infant death syndrome.

"It would be so much better spent putting this money toward pre-natal care, education for expectant mothers and fathers,” she stresses. “There are very real infant and child needs in West Virginia."


Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV