People seeking an abortion in West Virginia now only have one option after a clinic closed its doors earlier this week.
"Ninety-eight percent of West Virginia women live in a county without an abortion provider," Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of a local reproductive health rights and justice organization, told The Register-Herald. "Now that we are down to only one provider, it's more important than ever that we stand together to protect this critical access."
Like many states, West Virginia has been aggressively restricting abortion access in recent years according to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.
In West Virginia, legislators in 2014 outlawed abortion after a fetus gestates for 20 weeks. Last year, they outlawed the most common procedure for second-trimester abortions, which abortion opponents have dubbed “dismemberment.”
Especially considering how short the window is in West Virginia for getting an abortion, the closure of this clinic will undoubtedly make it even more difficult to access reproductive healthcare. The clinic performed abortions about once a month before shutting its doors. The doctor who performed the procedures moved to California about two years ago and commuted to West Virginia monthly to continue providing abortions.
Unfortunately, more closures around the country could be on their way since many state legislatures have limiting reproductive rights high on their agenda and several of them have recently approved efforts making abortions harder to get.