The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade means abortion rights will be determined at the state level. With many state lawmakers up for reelection this year, your vote matters more than ever in determining the future of abortion rights in the commonwealth.
Now that the federal protection of abortion rights granted by Roe v. Wade that had been in place nearly 50 years has been overturned, the future of reproductive rights in Pennsylvania hinges on the ballot box in more ways than one.
Abortion is still legal in the commonwealth. But with all 203 of the state’s House seats and half of the Senate seats up for re-election in November, voters can play a big part in determining what the future of reproductive rights will look like in the commonwealth.
“Reproductive rights are on the ballot every year, but 2022 is different,” said Lindsey Mauldin, vice president of advocacy and public policy at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. “Federal protections for the right to an abortion are gone, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is moving forward with a constitutional amendment that would erase our state’s rights as well. Who we send to Harrisburg this year will decide what we can do with our own bodies. Our health care, our privacy, our right to determine our own future is on the line here.”
Here are the bills introduced in the state legislature throughout the 2021-2022 session by lawmakers all hoping to retain their seat in November.
During the 2021-2022 legislative session, state lawmakers who are up for reelection in November have introduced more than a dozen measures regarding reproductive rights. Let’s take a look at those bills:
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 awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Howard represents the 167th legislative district which includes Chester County. She faces Republican Gail Newman in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Borowicz represents the 76th legislative district which includes Clinton County and part of Centre County. She faces Democrat Denise Maris in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Klunk represents the 169th legislative district which includes part of York County. She faces Democrat Isaac Riston in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Bonner represents the 8th legislative district which previously included part of Butler and Mercer counties. Due to redistricting, Bonner no longer resides in the 8th district and is running for re-election to represent the 17th district. He is running unopposed.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Oberlander represents the 63rd legislative district which includes Clarion County and part of Armstrong and Forest counties.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Daley represents the 148th legislative district which includes part of Montgomery County. She faces Republican Fran O’Donnell in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Shusterman represents the 157th legislative district which includes part of Chester and Montgomery counties. She faces Republican Sarah Marvin in the November election.
House Bill 2627 was introduced by Shusterman in May. The bill provides funding to family planning providers, including those that provide abortions. It currently awaits a vote 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 currently awaits a vote 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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
House Bill 2817 was introduced by Rep. Danielle Otten (D-Chester) this month.The bill proposes amending 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 currently awaits a vote in the Health Committee.
Otten represents the 155th legislative district which includes part of Chester County. She faces Republican Kyle Scribner in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Ward represents the 30th senatorial district which includes all of Blair and Fulton counties, and part of Cumberland, Franklin and Huntingdon counties. She faces Democrat Carol Taylor in the November election.
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 currently awaits a vote in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Mastriano is running for governor. He faces Democrat Josh Shapiro in the November election.
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 awaits a vote in the Health and Human Services Committee.
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