In April, we told you about anti-choice lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House who tried to fast-track one of the most severe abortion bans in the country into law.
If passed into law, House Bill 1948 would have criminalized almost all abortion by any method after 19 weeks’ gestation, with no exceptions for rape, incest or fetal anomaly.
In addition to making abortion after 19 weeks a felony, HB 1948 includes an additional provision that attempts to criminalize a procedure known as a D&E at any stage of pregnancy. The D&E abortion procedure is the same procedure that is used to complete a miscarriage. Some doctors caring for pregnant women experiencing sudden, severe fetal complications would be forced to abandon patients in desperate need of care.
To give you a hint regarding the medical validity of this kind of ban, the politicians greasing it through the process explicitly rejected input from medical experts—twice.
After a huge pushback from advocates like you, the bill was stalled.
Now, anti-choice extremists introduced a similar bill in the Pennsylvania Senate.
Today, a handful of anti-choice extremists showed up at the Capitol to advocate for Senate Bill 888. The guest of honor was former Pennsylvania Representative Steve Freind, who you may recall as one of the first politicians to espouse the bizarre belief that during sexual assault, women “secrete a certain secretion” that makes pregnancy unlikely, a belief echoed by anti-choice advocates looking for a reason to oppose rape exceptions in abortion bans.
This is what happens when anti-abortion becomes anti-science. This bill is an attempt to criminalize doctors for administering best-practice medical care, and punish women with substandard care. It is also unconstitutional.
The Women’s Law Project, along with the Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health, is calling for evidence-based policies in Pennsylvania, and for legislators to stop interfering between doctors and their patients.
The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.