Frankel hails Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on reproductive rights

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Dan Frankel hailed Monday’s decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that will allow a challenge to the state’s ban on Medicaid coverage for abortion care to move forward.

Frankel said the decision – which reversed 40-year-old caselaw prohibiting a challenge to the ban – provides a key foundation to solidify the right to reproductive autonomy, including the right to decide whether to have an abortion or to carry a pregnancy to term.

"In the opinion released yesterday, justices on our highest state court told the world what the vast majority of Pennsylvanians know in their hearts: that the right to make decisions for your own pregnancy should be yours alone,” Frankel said.

“If there’s anything we have learned in recent years, it’s that our work to protect abortion rights is never done, but Pennsylvanians can breathe a little easier today, because there’s another brick in the wall to hold back relentless efforts to block access to abortion health care.”

Frankel said that although the court did not rule on the merits of the case, remanding that question to the Commonwealth Court, two of the three justices explicitly stated that Pennsylvania’s Constitution protects the fundamental right of pregnant people to make choices for their families, their futures and their bodies.

“That’s ample cause to celebrate, even as the case moves forward and we continue to fight for expanded access,” Frankel said.

Frankel said is he optimistic that the case’s eventual resolution will end the inappropriate and dangerous ban on Medicaid coverage of abortions in Pennsylvania.

“We all know that a lack of insurance is synonymous with denial of care,” Frankel said. “It’s ludicrous to suggest that your enrollment in Medicaid would entitle politicians to make health care decisions for you.”

The full decision in Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is available here: MAP 2021 1-29-24 SCOPA Decision.pdf.