Abortion ; Activists 'Twitter Storm' Morrisey
Lori Kersey, writer, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked for public comment on proposed abortion regulations. On Thursday, he got it.
Abortion rights advocates took to social media to respond to what they consider an effort to restrict women's reproductive rights.
"We are having a Twitter storm to send a message to the attorney general that West Virginians are paying attention to his attacks on women's health and we are spreading excitement about the rally Aug. 20," said Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of the reproductive rights group WV Free.
The "Twitter storm" was scheduled for 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday.
During that time, advocates from all over the country tweeted to Morrisey's account. "Time for [Morrisey] to end the attack on women & get back to work for the people," Twitter user Beth K., of Charleston, wrote.
"This abortion regulation is unnecessary, politically motivated, and will make quality health care less available," West Virginia's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote.
Morrisey will accept public comment related to possible abortion regulations until 5 p.m. today.
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, a Christian evangelical group that opposes abortion and is suing a Charleston abortion clinic, wants the regulations. The group says its "Illuminate" campaign is a push for more safety in the abortion industry. Pro-choice activists and other groups, though, say more rules would only restrict women's access to abortion services.
West Virginia has two abortion clinics, both of which are in Charleston.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that monitors such regulations nationally, 2013 will see a near record-high number of state-level restrictions on abortions.
In his request for public comments, Morrisey listed "relevant topics" that he wants "interested stakeholders" and the general public to comment on specifically. Those include:
* Educational materials gathered by "any other West Virginia government official" on abortion regulation. …