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West Virginia

State Constitutional Protection

The West Virginia Constitution protects the right to choose to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals struck down under the state constitution a law limiting state medical assistance for abortion to cases of life endangerment, "grave peril of irreversible loss of a major bodily function," fetal deformity, incest, or reported rape because it did not provide funding for medically necessary abortion services.  Women's Health Ctr. of W. Va., Inc. v. Panepinto, 446 S.E.2d 658 (W.Va. 1993).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).

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