Paul Linton, an attorney who formerly served as general counsel for Americans United for Life, told CP that he found the Alabama and West Virginia amendment vote results “very encouraging.”
“Other states will likely consider similar measures, particularly Iowa, where a one-sentence neutrality amendment has already been introduced, and Kansas, in the event the state supreme court recognizes a right to abortion,” Linton said.
When asked how effective pro-life state amendments could be in banning abortion, Linton responded that he believed it “would depend upon the precise language of the amendment.”
“I do not think that state constitutional amendments are typically used to define and punish criminal conduct, which is more a matter for the legislatures to decide,” he explained.
“On the other hand, a strong statement of pro-life principle in a state constitution may act as a restraint on a legislature enacting a ‘liberalized’ abortion law.”
Linton referenced “neutrality amendments” as an example, which state that the constitution does not protect the right to an abortion, noting that they “would enable states to enforce pre-Roe laws prohibiting abortions” or possibly “to enact new laws prohibiting abortion.”