Organizations discuss how to support women after Roe v Wade ruling
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Pro-life and pro-choice organizations in West Virginia are figuring out their next steps after the United States Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade.
“We had been bracing ourselves for this moment for quite some time. The writing has been on the wall, but that doesn’t make us any less devastated,” said Katie Quinonez, executive director of Women’s Health Center of West Virginia. “It was still shocking and disturbing to see the utter disregard for human rights that the Supreme Court displayed on Friday.”
Women’s Health Center, the state’s only abortion clinic stopped performing abortions Friday. Quinonez says they had to call about 60 patients to cancel their appointments.
“Some patients didn’t understand what was happening. They weren’t aware the Supreme Court was on the verge of overturning Roe v wade and 50 years of legal precedent. Some people could not speak through their sobbing some people broke down on the phone,” she said.
Quinonez says due to an abortion ban in the state that dates back to the 1800′s, performing abortions is a felony, carrying up to 10 years of prison time.
“It’s creating horrific impacts for West Virginians. I would not be surprised if we saw our poverty rate increase, if we saw our teen pregnancy and birth rates increase, if we saw the number of children living in foster care increase,” said Quinonez.
She says the only thing they can do for patients now, is to refer them to resources to find the nearest abortion provider.
“I can’t imagine how hopeless some of our patients might feel now that they have to travel that great, long distance just to get a simple health care procedure,” she said.
Quinonez says one of the resources they are giving mothers is abortionfinder.org to help them schedule a new appointment in another state.
They are remaining open to provide services such as birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy and parenting support, and wellness exams.
Missy Ciccarello, West Virginians for Life Kanawha and Putnam County Chapter President says they are ready to provide support.
“We’re excited. We’re ready to put our feet to the ground to help these women. We’re not just about just saving babies we want to help the mothers too,” said Ciccarello.
She says they can direct expectant mothers to resources already in place, such as Woman’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center and Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center, both located in Charleston.
“I mean we’ll do whatever we can to help people, diapers, formula whatever we can we’ll find adoptive homes for them,” she said.
She says the chapter is preparing to meet this week to discuss in depth how to help these mothers, some of them facing canceled abortion appointments.
“We’re all about protecting mothers from the trauma of abortion, as well as their unborn children. We know there’s a lot of fear and anxiety,” said Ciccarello.
She said they hope to get down to the reasons women feel they do not have a choice, and be able to be a resource to direct them.
“We have so much work ahead of us, and we’re looking at it as a positive thing that lives are going to be saved,” she said.
You can reach out to the Kanawha and Putnam Chapter of West Virginians for Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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