PA Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocates Statement on Abortion Attacks
For Immediate Release: Jan. 29, 2021 (Updated: Jan. 29, 2021, noon)
As people who care about our communities and work day in and day out to ensure their access to the full range of reproductive health care, we are staunchly opposed to House Bill 118 and Senate Bill 21.
Amid all of the challenges we are currently facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania’s extremist anti-abortion lawmakers have signaled their priority is attacking Pennsylvania families who are experiencing miscarriage, navigating complicated pregnancies, or exercising their legal right to abortion.
Representative Frank Ryan (R-101) and other extremist anti-abortion Pennsylvania legislators introduced a “fetal burial” bill (HB 118) that furtively requires patients to obtain a death certificate after experiencing miscarriage or having an abortion, forces them into potentially traumatizing conversations they can already have if they choose, and creates a public record of pregnancy outcomes that violates their privacy, compromises their safety, and further stigmatizes people seeking abortions.
Senator Scott Martin (R-13) introduced an abortion ban (SB 21) that would criminalize abortion if sought because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. SB 21 is cloaked as a protection for individuals with Down syndrome but has nothing to do with supporting people with disabilities or their families. Like other “reason bans,” this bill is a blatant attempt to restrict access to abortion and perpetuate false stereotypes about the one in four women who have abortions.
The obvious aim of these bills is to further stigmatize people seeking abortions as well as their healthcare providers and create more punitive barriers to care, especially for people of color, LGBTQ folks, young people, and people with low incomes -- folks who already face multiple, significant obstacles to accessing the care they deserve. Not only are these bills cruel and violent, they are especially appalling given that these anti-abortion legislators continue introducing bills that have nothing to do with supporting our communities during a pandemic, and everything to do with control and perpetuating white supremacy.
This statement demonstrates our collective committment to holding anti-abortion legislators accountable and working together to destigmatize abortion and create the tranformative change needed to ensure people have access to abortion. We are here, we are paying attention, and make no mistake: we will not stop until all people have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortions.
ACLU - PA
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Delaware County Women’s Center and Philadelphia Women’s Center
Liberty Resources, Inc
National Council of Jewish Women - Pennsylvania
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Philadelphia
National Women’s Law Center
Planned Parenthood Keystone
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates
Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania
Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania
William Way LGBT Community Center
Women’s Law Project
Women’s Medical Fund