HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — last night, Politico released a leaked draft majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health (JWHO), Mississippi’s 15-week ban case, that would eliminate the constitutional right to abortion. In the draft, Justice Samuel Alito writes “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Though the decision is not yet final, and abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania and all other 49 states, should this decision be issued, 26 states are poised to move quickly and ban abortion, leaving millions of people of reproductive age without abortion access.
“Last night’s leak made one thing clear: the threat to abortion access in this country is not hypothetical, it is at our doorstep and it is being crushed right now” said Signe Espinoza, PPPA Executive Director.
While abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, and will continue to remain legal after the SCOTUS decision comes down later in June, the proposed constitutional amendment being pushed by anti-abortion legislators in Harrisburg could put access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care services at risk.
The constitutional amendment proposes to permanently amend the Pennsylvania constitution and take away any state protection for abortion access. Moreover, this addition to the Pennsylvania constitution could impact more than abortion–this would make it the policy of the state to “protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth”—that could have implications for contraception, IVF, and even whether or not a pregnant person gets to make their own medical decisions about how they give birth. This constitutional amendment would enshrine discrimination into the Pennsylvania constitution—allowing the State to treat a person differently and limit their access to health care options just because they are pregnant or low income.
“We need those in positions of power to do everything they can to protect access to abortion in Pennsylvania right now,” said Espinoza. Earlier this morning, the three executives from the Planned Parenthood health centers published an open letter in the Pennsylvania Capital Star calling on Governor Wolf to use his power and authority to protect and expand access to abortion care. PPPA is calling on all leaders to step up right now, and is making it clear that this is not the time to be lukewarm when it comes to abortion, as the people of Pennsylvania deserve access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care.
To learn more about the No Right to Abortion Constitutional Amendment, vist here.
ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD PENNSYLVANIA ADVOCATES
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates (PPPA) exists to create a Pennsylvania where sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is accessible, affordable, and affirming for all. We achieve this, in partnership with the 3 Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pennsylvania, through electoral and advocacy campaigns, lobbying, and organizing.