(Philadelphia, Pa.) --- Today, Planned Parenthood for America (PPFA) President Alexis McGill Johnson joined the Chief Executive Officers of the three Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood affiliates in a roundtable conversation to affirm PP’s commitment to keeping abortion safe, legal and accessible in this state.
“The Supreme Court has manufactured a crisis for reproductive rights, abortion access, and public health in this country, putting essential health care out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people who could become pregnant,” said PPFA President Alexis McGill Johnson. “These bans have done exactly what they were designed to do: sow chaos, instill fear, and stigmatize the patients who need abortion care and the providers who provide it. And yet, state politicians, including those in Harrisburg, continue to relentlessly pursue abortion bans. Pennsylvania — which is currently standing in the gap for care — needs only to look to its neighbors for what is possible when legislators put these bans on our bodies. Across the country, Planned Parenthood will continue fighting to restore and protect access, until everyone has the ability to make their own decisions about their lives, their bodies, and their futures.”
Pennsylvania has three regional Planned Parenthood affiliates that provide a host of reproductive and sexual health services, including abortion care.
“Abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, despite a decades-long history of extreme legislation that has attempted over and over again to dangerously restrict access to abortion services,” said Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeast PA. “ Abortion is healthcare. Planned Parenthood always has and always will be committed to providing abortion care and will continue to fight for all those in need of this essential service.”
It’s an extremist myth that abortion is controversial; one in four women will receive abortion care at some point in their life, and there is strong support for legal abortion across all voters. In recent polling by Franklin & Marshall Nearly nine in ten registered Pennsylvania voters believes abortion should be legal under certain circumstances (52%) or under any circumstance (37%).
“Pennsylvania is vital to the provision of abortion care for its citizens and surrounding states. There is no better time than now to remove barriers for patients and abortion providers. And yet, anti-abortion politicians in Pennsylvania are trying to rob people of the right to control their bodies and personal health care decisions. These cruel anti-abortion policies are not about protecting anyone. They are about intimidating providers and patients and denying essential health care. But be assured, Planned Parenthood will not back down. Our doors are wide open for patients who need us,” stated Melissa Reed, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Keystone.
Abortion remains under attack in Pennsylvania with regularly introduced bans, and most recently with a constitutional amendment which proposes to explicitly iterate in our constitution that citizens have no rights relating to abortion. This, too, is unpopular with voters. In the same Franklin & Marshall poll from this August, nearly three in five (59%) registered voters oppose amending the state constitution to say there is no constitutional right to abortion in the state.
That amendment passed the General Assembly in July and requires a second passage before going to the ballot as early as the 2023 Primary Election.
“The overturning of Roe and the subsequent bans and restrictions pushed through by anti-abortion legislation do not decrease the need for abortion. Instead, this has created a situation that has left people with fewer options and more barriers to care. Western Pennsylvania is an access point for abortion, but with only two abortion clinics in the region, the challenge of absorbing the incoming patients has been acute,” said Sydney Etheredge, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western PA. “With 85% of counties in the commonwealth without an abortion provider, leaving only 17 clinics in the state, on top of many providers still dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on our health care workforce, there is already so much we are all up against and it will only become more difficult as time goes on.”
Abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, and Planned Parenthood affiliates, as well as the statewide Planned Parenthood PA Advocates c4 arm remain dedicated to keeping it that way.
For more information on PPPA and access to abortion care in Pennsylvania, please visit our website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Crampsie, 717 712 3480
ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD PENNSYLVANIA PAC
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC (PP PA PAC) is the electoral arm of Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania and exists to advocate for sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, that is accessible, affordable, and affirming for all Pennsylvanians.