CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – “Angry, Hurt, Devastated.” That’s how some women felt after West Virginia’s House and Senate passed an abortion ban, according to Katie Quiñonez, the executive director of the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia.
She says more than 40 scheduled abortions this week alone were canceled after the bill was passed.
“I had patients break down and start sobbing, saying they had no idea what they were going to do and felt like their life was over,” said Quiñonez.
The bill’s supporters say women still have other options now that abortion is off the table.
“Maybe there are some women that are devastated,” said Del. Kathie Hess Crouse, (R-Putnam). “I hope they find the peace that they need and are able to carry these pregnancies and maybe even give babies up for adoption or find out that they’re extremely happy that they did not kill their child.”
Quiñonez, however, says the only option for women who want an abortion is traveling out of state.
“This week alone we had over 40 patients on our schedule that now have to figure out how to get out of state, how to scrape together the funds, how to get the transportation to travel hundreds of miles away,” she said.
In response Crouse says, “If they want to go to those extremes and go out of state then that’s what they’re going to do, but it’s not going to happen here in West Virginia.”
Even though Quiñonez says abortions makes up 40% of the clinic’s annual revenue and budget, she says stopping abortions does not mean they’re going to close.
She says the clinic will still offer other services including annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, family planning, gender affirming hormone therapy, pregnancy and parenting support, STI testing and treatment.
“We’re not going to stop fighting for West Virginian’s right to access comprehensive reproductive health care,” she said. “And we’re more committed than ever to provide the care that are community is depending on us for.”