Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

West Virginia Abortion Laws


Abortion is illegal in West Virginia except in the case of a medical emergency, the fetus is not compatible with life, or in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. In cases of sexual assault, abortion is available up to 8 weeks of pregnancy.


The topic of abortion can be one of the most vigorously argued in America. In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. So what exactly are the abortion laws in different states and how do they work? 

West Virginia has a law on the books from before Roe that prohibits all abortions except those done in good faith with the intention of saving the life of the mother. That law is currently subject to a legal challenge. This area of the law is highly fluid.

Here's a quick introduction to abortion laws in West Virginia.

Code Section

West Virginia Code 61-2-8

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

"Any person who shall administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman, any drug or other thing, or use any means, with intent to destroy her unborn child, or to produce abortion or miscarriage, and shall thereby destroy such child, or produce such abortion or miscarriage" has committed a felony

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Necessary to save life of mother or fetus, fetus is not viable, or in case of an ectopic pregnancy; Performed by an M.D.

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Performing illegal abortion: felony: imprisonment 3 to 10 years; if mother dies: murder

More Resources for Abortion Laws in West Virginia

Abortion decisions are serious and it's essential to understand your rights. FindLaw’s sections on Abortion, Birth Control, and Health Care Law can provide you additional articles and resources. You can also consult with a West Virginia health care attorney if you would like legal help regarding an abortion matter.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options