SCOPA decision marks win for reproductive rights, health and justice

Currently, Medicaid does not cover abortions in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 30 – On Monday, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania established that abortion providers have standing to advocate for patients and challenge the ban on abortions for patients enrolled in Medicaid, announced Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny.

In Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court referred the case back to Commonwealth Court to decide if the Pennsylvania Constitution ensures the right to an abortion. 

The lead plaintiff in the case, Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, is located in the 24th Legislative District, making Allegheny County ground zero in the fight for abortion rights.

“Today’s decision marks a win for reproductive rights, health, and justice as now, advocates have the opportunity to defend Pennsylvanians’ ability to access reproductive health care, regardless of their income or use of public insurance,” Mayes said. “Currently, Medicaid does not cover abortions in Pennsylvania, preventing at least 28% of Pennsylvanians from accessing reproductive health care. With this decision from the state’s highest court, advocates can now challenge the Abortion Control Act of 1982 to ensure low-income patients have access to abortion and prevent Republicans from controlling the bodily autonomy of Pennsylvanians.”

This decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns Fischer v. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which set a precedent for 39 years that prevented challenges to the ban on insurance coverage for Medicaid patients, she noted.

Previously, Mayes advocated for reproductive rights, health and justice as the founder, president and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice. She now continues her advocacy as state representative for the 24th Legislative District.


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