West Virginia resident Amanda Schwartz also called for lawmakers to look beyond politics to do what was right for all West Virginia women, not just those who object to how their taxpayer dollars are spent.
“This bill’s sole purpose is to score political points with religious conservatives in West Virginia,” she insisted during Monday’s hearing.
She added: “It is wrong and unworthy of West Virginians to use poor women as political pawns for individual gains.”
Yet while Hutchens and Schwartz were just two of the overwhelming number of West Virginians who spoke against the bill on Monday at the hearing, their protests will likely do little to change Republican lawmakers’ minds.
Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of WV Free is not surprised by the legislature’s push to yet again deny women’s right to choose.
“Here we are again: Another year, another abortion bill,” she said during the hearing. “Hard-line politicians are bent on taking health care away from women. This year, they’ve targeted the poorest women.”
She also noted that if the bill passes it could wind up denying more than just poor women’s reproductive choices: the Medicaid-funded abortion ban could potentially cause the state’s only abortion clinic to shutter for good.