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West Virginia Abortion Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States

By    |   Tuesday, 25 August 2015 06:07 PM

West Virginia's abortion laws are more liberal when compared to most of its neighboring states; only one state has fewer restrictions.

The Mountain State came in at No. 30 on a 2013 ranking of state abortion restrictions by the Guttmacher Institute for NARAL Pro-Choice America. Neighboring Virginia ranked No. 9, Ohio No. 14, Kentucky No. 19, and Pennsylvania ranked No. 21. Virginia's only neighboring state having fewer abortion restrictions is Maryland.

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Women seeking an abortion in West Virginia are required to undergo state-mandated counseling and wait 24 hours until the procedure is performed, putting them among 22 states nationally that require this waiting period.

Kentucky also has a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion after a patient receives required counseling, as does Virginia.

Minors in West Virginia must notify a parent before they undergo an abortion, but a physician or a judge can wave such a requirement, Planned Parenthood noted. In Kentucky and Virginia, minors also must have parental consent for the procedure.

West Virginia lawmakers approved ultrasound requirements for women seeking abortions in 2010. A pre-abortion ultrasound is also required in Virginia.

West Virginia earned a B-minus grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America on its abortion laws, while Virginia and Kentucky both were listed as being much more restrictive.

In contrast, the pro-life group Americans United for Life ranked West Virginia at No. 34 in the nation for protecting the unborn. Virginia was ranked 14th in the same study and Kentucky was ranked 18th.

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West Virginia's abortion laws are more liberal than those in neighboring states.
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015 06:07 PM
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