The tabs below will provide you with some additional information about access to abortion care in Pennsylvania.

Yes, but there are restrictions

  • It is legal to 24 weeks gestational age (from last menstrual period).
  • Use of state and federal Medical Assistance (MA) Funds are prohibited for abortion services, with exceptions for rape, incest or to avert the death of the pregnant person.
  • A patient is required to undergo mandated counseling from an abortion provider.
  • There is a 24 hour wait before getting an abortion. This waiting period can be waived if health is at risk because of the pregnancy.
  • If under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must give permission to get an abortion or request a judicial bypass to waive the requirement for parental involvement.

There is no Federal constitutional right to an abortion, and the authority over abortion law is now determined by individual states.

Yes, multiple bills have been introduced that would ban or restrict abortion access.

  1. S.B. 378 (Mastriano) H.B. 904 (Borowicz) – 6 week abortion ban.
  2. S.B. 956 (J.Ward) H.B. 2252 (Oberlander) – Would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to remove any statewide judicial protections for abortion.
  3. S.B. 152 (J.Ward) – Would limit funding for family planning services that provide abortion.
  4. H.B. 1500 (Klunk) – Prohibits abortion based on a patient's reason.
  5. S.B. 1872 (Bonner) – Requires patients to receive excess pain relief medication or anesthesia prior to an abortion, in order to direct anesthetic to the fetus.
  • Yes, abortion is safe and common.
  • 1 in 4 women will have had an abortion by the time they turn 45 years old.
  • Abortion is a safe procedure with less health risks than common surgeries, like removing wisdom teeth.
  • 95% of women who had abortions continued to feel confident about their decision.
  • Individuals should consult with a medical professional for further information.
  • Medication abortion is a non-surgical abortion where the patient ends their pregnancy by taking a pill or series of pills.
  • Mifepristone, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000, is used with another medication called misoprostol to end early pregnancy. Mifepristone is well established in medical literature as a safe alternative to surgical abortion.
  • In 2019, 45% of all abortions provided in Pennsylvania were medical abortions.
  • The regimen of pills can be taken safely at home, a method increasingly used around the world.
  • The protocol approved for use in the United States includes two medications. The first one, mifepristone, blocks a hormone called progesterone that is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. The second, misoprostol, brings on uterine contractions.
  • The combination of these pills causes a complete abortion in more than 99 percent of patients.

Although abortion is safe and effective, many women have difficulties accessing care. Barriers to safe legal abortion include

  • Money
  • Travel logistics
  • Limited clinics
  • State restrictions

These factors all result in delayed care, negative mental health consequences, and the consideration of unsafe methods to end a pregnancy. Black and Brown communities and low-income earners are disproportionately impacted.

 

Latest News

Cephas to step down as co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus

(Nov 16, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today announced that she will be stepping down from her position as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Cephas said this represents a sweet-and-sour moment in her career as a lawmaker because she is closing a chapter that allowed her to fight for women’s rights at all levels. “I’m proud to say that as the Women’s Health Caucus, we not only fought, but also won many battles together. I had the honor to support this work in Harrisburg and at home, in Philly co-sponsoring legislation aimed to ensure access. We also have made great strides for maternal health in the Commonwealth under the guidance of the WHC in the last two years.” Cephas emphasized the extensive list of the organization’s achievements includes close collaboration with the governor's administration and stakeholders from across the state, which has resulted in a $25 million investment into maternal health and the implementation of the Medical Assistance extension from six weeks to one-year postpartum. “The WHC has played a pivotal role in decisions made at the Capitol. We also worked on the creation of a pathway to certification for doulas through the launch of the Perinatal Doula Certification Program, and improvements in supports for our incarcerated population through the development of the Doula Pilot Program in SCI Cambridge Springs and SCI Muncy,” Cephas said. Read more

Fiedler hosts rally for abortion rights on Capitol steps

(Oct 24, 2022)

The event, called “Abortion Freedom for All,” drew hundreds of people to the Capitol steps just as the General Assembly was about to reconvene for session. Read more

Women of the PA Black Caucus and Women’s Health Caucus demand the PA Human Relations Commission to investigate Philly Pregnancy Center, Norristown

(Oct 17, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today sent a letter to the Human Relations Commission along with House Members of the PA Legislative Black Caucus and the Women’s Health Caucus, where she serves as co-chair, requesting the institution to investigate a recent incident that occurred at the Philly Pregnancy Center. The letter states that a black pregnant patient from Delaware County was harassed and scolded by a staffer who was questioning the need of a doctor’s note to leave work. “While we have made great strides, there is still much work to be done and the incident that took place at the Philly Pregnancy Center Norristown location exemplifies the reasons we are not done yet,” Members highlight in the letter. “Pregnant and birthing people in Pennsylvania should have safe places to seek and receive equitable care no matter their ZIP code, race, ethnicity, gender or income level. As shown in the viral video, that is not always the case.” The correspondence also signed by state Reps. Mary Joe Daley, D-Montgomery, co-chair; Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman and Darisha Parker, D-Phila., chairwoman of the PLBC Subcommittee on Women & Girls of Color. It emphasized the need to hold providers accountable for their interactions with patients in order to guarantee a fairness in the services they offer. The caucus also highlighted in the letter that there is an imperative to protect and expand access to care, Read more

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Women’s Health Caucus Highlights Summer Recess Activities, Plans to Continue Advocating for Abortion Rights in Fall Session

(Oct 06, 2022)

Building on great progress made for maternal health over the last year, the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus continues the fight to improve health outcomes for women and families and continues to work to protect reproductive health access for all. Read more

Fiedler, Kinkead introduce package of reproductive rights legislation

(Sep 19, 2022)

“The attacks we’re seeing on reproductive rights from our Republican colleagues is a monumental infringement on the rights of women and birthing people across the commonwealth. We are here today to propose these important bills to protect these crucial rights for the women and birthing people of Pennsylvania.” Read more