- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia women are down to one in-state choice if they want an abortion.

Kanawha Surgicenter, which was one of the state’s two abortion providers, closed its doors Tuesday, according to a note posted on the door of the Kanawha City clinic, The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2jIBogF) reported.

A woman who answered Dr. Gorli Harish’s phone and said she is his wife said the family moved to California two years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren. She said the doctor had been commuting to Charleston once a month to do procedures and no longer wished to make the regular trips.

With Kanawha Surgicenter’s closure, the only other abortion provider in the state is the Women’s Health Center, on Charleston’s West Side.

An abortion-rights advocate decried the closure.

“A woman in need of reproductive health care in West Virginia already faces serious obstacles, whether she is seeking obstetrical or abortion care,” said Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of WV Free. “Closure of Kanawha Surgicenter just exponentially increased the challenges.”

Abortion has been legal throughout the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, but lawmakers in many states have passed laws that make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions and for abortion providers to operate.

In West Virginia, legislators in 2014 outlawed abortion after a fetus gestates for 20 weeks. Last year, they outlawed the most common procedure for second-trimester abortions, which abortion opponents have called “dismemberment.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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