CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dozens of pro-choice supporters gathered in the rotunda at the state Capitol Tuesday to send a message.
They chanted, “Not the church! Not the State! Women must decide our fate!”
The event, sponsored by West Virginia Free and the American Civil Liberties Union, is in response to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s “fact finding mission” to determine how the law in West Virginia addresses abortion facilities.
Women like Margaret Chico-Eddy from Charleston said they’re outraged. “I believe Mr. Morrisey should not be sticking his nose into people’s uterus!”
From teenagers to senior citizens, the rally drew a diverse crowd and they wanted Morrisey to hear what they had to say. His office was just down the hallway. So they raised their voices.
“Patrick Morrisey hear our call, women’s rights protect us all!”
Mary Lynn McKeown from Dunbar believes the Attorney General’s fact finding mission is more like a mission to take away a woman’s right to choose.
“[Our rights] are definitely under attack and our new attorney general is leading the charge,” said McKeown.
Women and men, at the rally, held signs that read, “I stand with West Virginia Women” and “Morrisey unkind to women and seniors.”
Some women said they were there to speak out about the future of pro-choice.
“I have a daughter on the earth. A grandchild here. I certainly don’t want to see this regressive move taken for women,” said Pam Lynn of Charleston.
Diane Wolf of Charleston said she’s speaking out for the past.
“A long time ago I promised my mother that I would never let them take away the right of women over their own body,” she explained.
Morrisey released a statement saying in part, “The people gathered at the Capitol today have the right to express their opinions, and I would not discourage them from doing so. What are the regulatory standards in West Virginia for governing abortions, which are legal in the state until birth? Our review is analyzing this question and many others that have been raised by people across the political spectrum.”
Morrisey, a Republican, also points out that a bipartisan group of legislators have also asked for a review of the state’s abortion rules.
McKeown said that doesn’t make her feel any better about what’s going on. Her message for state leaders, “West Virginia women are coming together and standing up for their rights! So politicians and the attorney general need to take note!”