From the Catholic Conference of West Virginia During this Respect Life Month, we keep in mind the needs of mothers and children, especially those living in poverty. An important source of support for impoverished families is the Medicaid Program. The Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, and many other Church groups support a well-funded Medicaid Program. However, there is one aspect of Medicaid funding in West Virginia which those upholding life from conception to natural death do not support. Because of a WV Supreme Court decision 25 years ago regarding a law dealing with abortions for women on Medicaid, such women have been able to obtain taxpayer funded abortions effectively on demand. Most states limit reasons for abortions funded by Medicaid to the usual Hyde Amendment justifications (clear danger to the life of the mother, incest, and rape.) This November 6 WV voters will be able to vote on a short constitutional amendment – “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” Passage of this amendment will enable the law blocked 25 years ago to come into effect, and our state will finally join the majority of states in limiting reasons for taxpayer funding of abortion to the Hyde categories. This November voters can support a culture of life voting “yes” for Amendment One. At all times we should seek to enhance a culture of life. A special concern should be the support of mothers and their unborn children. Pope Francis reminds us “Every child growing within the mother’s womb is part of the eternal loving plan of God the Father: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you’ (Jer 1:5). May we all keep these words in mind as we seek to uphold a culture of life!