CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thousands of West Virginians signed a petition asking state lawmakers to make a change to the Affordable Care Act here in the state.

Tuesday West Virginians For Life, conservative lawmakers and members of the clergy gathered at the state capitol to present those petitions to House Minority Leader Tim Armstead. They want West Virginia to opt-out of taxpayer funded abortions as part of the new health care plan.

“The petitions that we have gathered so far in our effort to let our state leaders know that the people of West Virginia truly do not want to pay for abortions in the health care exchanges…this is over 12 lbs. of paper, around 7,000 signatures,” said West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz as she put her hand on a large stack of papers wrapped in a red ribbon.

According to the abortion provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, “There is no requirement in ACA that health care plans cover abortion, nor is there a prohibition preventing plans from covering abortion. Rather, ACA gives health care plans participating in state exchanges the ability to determine whether or not to cover abortion

West Virginians for Life lobbyist John Carey said, “As of July 23rd, 23 states have chosen to pass legislation to opt out of tax payer funding of abortion.”

But Margaret Chapman Pomponio, with pro-choice group West Virginia Free, has a different take on the ACA.

“The law is really clear. There is no funding for abortion care in the health care law. It is absolutely clear,” stressed Pomponio. “So to waste time trying to pass a law that is totally unnecessary just doesn’t make good sense.”

One of those standing with the pro-life supporters is Ed Gaunch. He’s with Believe in West Virginia, a non-profit, non-denominational group that takes its guidance from the Bible. He believes it’s important that West Virginians know they have a say when it comes to abortions.

“I just believe all life is precious. This shouldn’t be a political football,” said Gaunch. “For me it’s a matter of doing the right thing.”

Gaunch said it is a woman’s right to have an abortion but it’s the taxpayer’s right not to pay for it.

Pomponio believes those who signed the petition are just looking for another way to get rid of Obamacare.

“It seems odd now to be spending time and resources in West Virginia on trying to fight the implementation of health care reform. We need to move forward,” said Pomponio. “They are trying to move backwards and stall.”

You can begin applying for the state health care exchanges October 1. The ACA does not go into effect until the first of the year.

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  • Wvsasha

    "the people of West Virginia"....7000 signatures...really? THE PEOPLE OF WV....out of 1.855 million people....0.00377%....that's an amazing amount....

  • Im grill

    Anyone who thinks this isn't a complicated issue just doesn't have a good understanding of constitutional law. It's a 14th amendment issue dealing with right to privacy. The same people who say "no" to gun registration cite privacy concerns. No one is forcing anyone to have abortions. Many of you also argue against providing social services . You can't go both directions at the same time. I've read many who "value" life also support the death penalty. You entitled to your views but pick a side and stay there. You want your daughter to go back to 1950's , go for it. I choose to move forward not backward. Affordable care is the law and will be for the foreseeable future. This just another attempt to stir up those who are looking to oppose anything our president does.

    • Don Jr.

      Most murders are committed in private. To me, this does not warrant constitutional protection to the perpetrators due to the privacy guarantees written in the constitution. As for moving forward, that can be a good thing, but when I see a group moving forward toward a cliff, I choose to step back and follow a new direction. Sometimes I'll even shout out a warning to those "moving foward" in the wrong direction. Seldom heeded, so we take seperate paths.

  • wv4evah

    "Pro-life?" Can the headline writer stop mindlessly mimic'ing bumper stickers? It's a complex issue..both sides are pro-life. "Abortion opponrnts" is a more appropriate phrase.

    • Don Jr.

      It is not a complicated issue.
      Aborting a human life that has a heartbeat is murder, it's that simple.

      • David

        What you meant to say, probably, is, "I wish abortion was the crime of murder. I want women who are raped to be forced to bear the rapist's child; I want women who will die if the pregnancy continues to have to continue the pregnancy; I want women whose entire lives will be changed without their consent or wish to have to remain pregnant and bear the child - because if ANY of those heartbeats are stopped, I think it should be the crime of murder. I want to impose my morality on all those who can become pregnant."

        • Don Jr.

          The fact is that when we all, I'm going to say again because it's important "when we all" have to give account for the things we've done in our life we will not be standing before the US supreme court. As for the women that are raped, they are tragic victums but killing the child does not take away the crime. If they cannot bring themselves to love and raise the child then they should put it up for adoption after it is born. These children are human beings also. This brings up a related subject, it is entirely to hard and expensive for a decent American couple to adopt a child. Why is this?
          This in itself also shows the sad state that our country has drifted into.

          • Shawn

            Spot on, Don! I often wonder if we will be allowed to hear when these people stand before God and give an account, what will they say. They won't have the ACLU there defending them. I'm sure the excuses will be hilarious.

        • NorthernWVman

          So you are saying that the mother's life is far more important than the child? Your saying that since her life will be changed it is ok to murder a child? Your saying that morality should have no bearing on the choice to kill an baby? Lets take it a step further....since that handicapped child cannot live on their own and will disrupt a woman's life it should be killed eventhough he is already 4 years old. Since we throw morality out the window that elderly parent is going to be a burden so we should just euthanize them!! After all their entire life will be changed. So your saying that a woman should be able to choose who they murder???

      • Devan

        Don, Jr. is spot on!!!!

    • wv4evah

      "opponents." sorry.

  • D.P.

    Very well stated Buck!!!

  • Buck

    Just send Obama a couple of bucks. All of his donors get whatever exemptions they wish.

  • Joe

    The First Year A.D. - Bethlehem - The Birth of Christ The Lord.

    • C.Hoffman

      Well done, Joe. You cite the ultimate and supreme authority in this matter.

    • GregG

      1823-Clement Clarke Moore....A Visit From St. Nicholas.

      • Charleston,WV

        11 February 1923 – 8 April 2010, Antony Garrard Newton Flew

        • Charleston,WV

          Oh yeah, and don't forget Ted Turner.

  • C.Hoffman

    Declaration of Independence 7/4/1776
    Constitution of the United States 9/17/1789 First Amendment - Bill of Rights 12/15/1791

  • Luigi

    Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

    • Jonesy

      Dred Scott Decision, March 6, 1857