Women’s Health Caucus and Reproductive Rights Advocates Rally on 2 Year Mark of Dobb’s Decision

Members of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus (WHC) were joined by Planned Parenthood, Department of Human Services Secretary Val Arkoosh, and advocates in Harrisburg on the second-year mark of the Dobbs Decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Policies surrounding abortion in Pennsylvania currently in effect include:

  • Abortion is banned at 24 weeks and later.
  • Patients are forced to wait 24 hours after counseling to obtain an abortion.
  • State Medicaid coverage of abortion is banned except in very limited circumstances.
  • Private health insurance of abortion is banned except in very limited circumstances.
  • Unnecessary regulations are in force and designed to shutter abortion clinics without basis in medical standards.

Representative Kristine Howard, (D-167), Prime Sponsor of House Bill 2304: Reproductive Freedom Act said, “20-year-old me was confident that we would always have these rights. 50-year-old me was still confident we would always have these rights,” referring to the abortion rights that were enshrined in the Roe v. Wade decision that was overturned by Dobbs. She went on to detail the need for House Bill 2304, which repeals a great bulk of the Abortion Control Act, the law which places many of the restrictions listed above on abortion care, and replaces it with a new legal framework aimed at treating abortion as health care, with an emphasis on protecting patients’ independence and privacy.

Secretary Val Arkoosh, Department of Human Services, shared “Reproductive care is healthcare. And the Shapiro Administration will always fight for women to have the freedom to make informed, safe decisions for their health, their bodies, and their lives.”

“Safe and legal abortion care is healthcare, and we are proud to continue to keep that as a right here in Pennsylvania,” said Representative Curry. “Sadly, the Dobbs decision shows that these rights are not a guarantee in the United States. We stand united with the women of the Commonwealth in maintaining and defending the right to let women decide how they wish to take care of themselves.”

Senator Schwank and Senator Cappelletti are the co-Prime Sponsors of the Senate Companion to the Reproductive Freedom Act. Senator Cappelletti said, “Yes – this is about abortion access – but abortion access impacts so much more than you might think. And while access to abortion is safe and legal here in Pennsylvania, it isn’t necessarily accessible. And we can do a lot more here in this Commonwealth to protect and expand reproductive rights.” Additional pieces of legislation that Senators Schwank and Cappelletti have introduced around reproductive rights include the Abortion Protections Package and Setting Standards for Family Planning Services.

“In just two short years – 21 states have eliminated or severely restricted access to abortion,” said Senator Schwank. “This is a crisis. It’s a crisis in this nation. And while we fight for the people of Pennsylvania, we’re concerned about every woman, every family in the United States.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, “Within 30 days of the Dobbs decision, 43 clinics in 11 states had stopped providing abortion care. By 100 days after the decision, this had increased to 66 clinics in 15 states; no abortion-providing facilities operated in the 14 states enforcing total abortion bans.”