Democratic lawmakers introducing bill to prevent out-of-state abortion investigations

HARRISBURG, June 14 – As states begin to impose abortion restrictions in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Reps. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, are working to ensure Pennsylvania remains a safe haven for people seeking abortions.

“It is bad enough that people have to travel hundreds of miles to receive medical care, but the thought that they may be harassed and charged with felonies, it’s outrageous,” Hill-Evans said. “It is not the duty of people on the state payroll to investigate personal health matters; Pennsylvania officials have no business harassing pregnant people on the taxpayer’s dime.”

“The Dobbs decision is an assault on bodily autonomy and the half-century during which abortion was constitutionally protected,” said Rabb. “Now that this ruling defers to the states on how to proceed, our legislature should act to prohibit cooperation of state and local government officials with out-of-state investigators regarding the healthcare choices of women and birthing people across our commonwealth.”

The legislation they are proposing would prohibit all law enforcement officers, state government departments and their employees, and local government entities and their employees from cooperating with out-of-state investigations into abortions legally obtained in Pennsylvania.

The Democratic lawmakers want Pennsylvania to join other states, like New York and Connecticut, who also are working to offer these protections to women seeking abortion care.

Kinkead described current abortion restrictions in neighboring states West Virginia and Ohio as draconian and an attack on women’s rights, citing them as prime examples of the need to reinforce Pennsylvania’s sovereignty and prevent out-of-state investigations into medical treatments that are legal within the borders of the Commonwealth.

“Abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, but in states across the union, severe abortion restrictions are going into effect or being proposed at lightning speed,” Kinkead said. “Most disturbing is that many states proposing to outlaw abortion are seeking to criminalize individuals who seek abortions – or assist others in seeking abortions – whether they do so in that state or any other. Texas has even proposed legislation that would make abortion punishable by the death penalty. Pennsylvania will not cooperate with these repulsive investigations. In fact, it is our right and our duty to refuse.”