PLANNED PARENTHOOD PENNSYLVANIA ADVOCATES
(Harrisburg, Pa.) – The Pennsylvania Senate today passed a constitutional amendment bill to enumerate in the Pennsylvania Constitution that there is no right to abortion.
“For extremists, this vote was about politics but for the rest of us, it’s about removing access to health care from abortion to contraception to IVF,” said PPPA Executive Director Signe Espinoza. “We’ve seen the far right playbook in other states leading up to the fall of Roe and this is another step on the path to an outright abortion ban.”
In 2014, Tennessee passed a similar constitutional amendment and used it as the backing for a 6-week abortion ban, before most people know that they’re pregnant, and nine other bills restricting access to abortion forcing providers to close statewide.
“Abortion bans are simply dangerous. They increase maternal mortality rates, which are already very high – particularly among mothers of color,” said Espinoza. “Furthermore, these bans are never coupled with increased access to pre natal care, mandated paid parental leave, support for mothers or children, subsidies for child care, or any other measure that would improve the quality of life for those that are now forced to bear children.
“Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania, for now,” continued Espinoza. “But the right wing will not stop trying to control our bodies. If their legislation won’t pass because the Governor will veto it, they will try to amend our constitution. We have to remain vigilant, now that Roe has been overturned.”
The constitutional amendment will have to be passed in the House of Representatives by the end of the session – that can be done as early as today (Friday, July 8). If it passes then, it can be voted again as early as January 2023 and included on the 2023 Primary Election ballot.