The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022 meant abortion rights will be determined at the state level. Democratic state lawmakers have introduced bills to protect that right, but their efforts have been blocked by the GOP majorities in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania became one of the biggest battlegrounds for abortion rights after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.
While abortion is still legal in the commonwealth, the majority-GOP state legislature repeatedly pushed legislation that would limit access to abortion care. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto pen was often the last line of defense for this right.
With a new Democratic governor on the way in and the potential for Democrats to gain the majority in the state House, the fight to keep abortion legal in Pennsylvania could get a little easier.
Here are the abortion bills introduced in the state legislature throughout the 2021-2022 session:
House Bill 733 was introduced by Rep. Kristine Howard (D-Chester) in March 2021. The bill prohibits the state from interfering with a person’s right to have an abortion or use contraceptives. The bill is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 904, also called the Heartbeat Bill, was introduced by Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Clinton) in March 2021. The bill bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 1500 was introduced by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York) in May 2021. The bill prohibits abortions solely due to a diagnosis of possible Down Syndrome. It passed the House in June 2021 by a vote of 120-83 and is sitting in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
House Bill 1872 was introduced by Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer) in September 2021. The bill requires that pain medication be administered to a fetus prior to an abortion if the fetus is more than 12 weeks gestational age. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2252 was introduced by Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) in January. The bill proposes amending the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding of abortions within the Pennsylvania constitution. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2574 was introduced by Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) in May. The bill proposes putting safety parameters around data collection by crisis pregnancy centers—organizations that engage in deceptive practices to prevent a person from having an abortion—and prohibits them from sharing personal information without written permission from the individual. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2626 was introduced by Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester) in May. The bill would end state funding for crisis pregnancy centers and remove other restrictions on family planning providers. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2627 was introduced by Shusterman in May. The bill provides funding to family planning providers, including those that provide abortions. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2628 was introduced by Shusterman in May. The bill removes unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers and on public funds for abortions and related activities. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2629 was introduced by Shusterman in May. The bill allows for full pregnancy health funding from the state and the expenditure of public funds for abortions. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2766 was introduced by Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D-York) in August. The bill prohibits all law enforcement officers, state government departments, and local government entities from cooperating with an out-of-state investigation into abortions legally obtained in Pennsylvania. It is sitting in the Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 2817 was introduced by Rep. Danielle Otten (D-Chester) in September. The bill would amend the state constitution to reaffirm and protect every Pennsylvanian’s right to privacy and ensure that the state does not deny or interfere with a person’s reproductive rights. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2847 was introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (D-Philadelphia) in October. The bill expands who can perform medication and aspiration abortions in Pennsylvania to include nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physician assistants. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2848 was introduced by Fiedler in September. The bill requires insurance companies to provide abortion services without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement. It is sitting in the Insurance Committee.
House Bill 2867 was introduced by Rep. Jessica Benham (D-Allegheny) in October. The bill removes Rh factor testing prior to an abortion. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2915 was introduced by Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny) in November. The bill prohibits the issuance of subpoenas, summons, or extradition of a person to another state for reproductive health services legally performed in Pennsylvania. It is sitting in the Health Committee.
Senate Bill 21 was introduced by Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) in January 2021. The bill prohibits abortions solely due to a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. It is sitting in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Senate Bill 106 was originally introduced in January 2021 by Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill) and contained a proposed constitutional amendment related to the process of selecting the state’s lieutenant governor candidates. It passed the Senate by a 43-4 vote.
In December, while under consideration in the state House, GOP representatives proposed four additional amendments which were added to the bill, including a change to the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding of abortions in the commonwealth. It still needs to pass both chambers (House and Senate) in another legislative session—or again in 2023.
Senate Bill 152 was introduced by Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair) in February 2021. The bill proposes prioritizing public funds for family planning services offered by private hospitals and federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and state health facilities. The legislation also basically ensures organizations that offer abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, receive no funding. It is sitting in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Senate Bill 378, also called the Heartbeat Bill, was introduced by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) in March 2021. The bill bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It is sitting in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Senate Bill 956 was introduced by Ward in March 2021. The bill proposes changing the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding of abortions in the commonwealth. It was laid on the table by the Senate in October.
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