Jun 24, 2022 - News

Roe v. Wade overturned: What it means for Pennsylvania

What will happen immediately in each state now that Roe v Wade has been overturned
Data: Axios research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday overturning Roe v. Wade, effectively ending all federal protections on abortion.

What it means for Pennsylvania: Abortion remains legal up to about 24 weeks of pregnancy, with several existing restrictions, such as mandated counseling and a 24-hour waiting period. But protections are vulnerable.

  • Republican lawmakers, who maintain majorities in the state House and Senate, have proposed several reproductive health bills that would severely limit abortion access in the state.
  • Gov. Tom Wolf, who's term-limited, has pledged to veto any anti-abortion rights legislation that makes it to his desk.

The big picture: November's gubernatorial election could now determine the future of abortion access in Pennsylvania.

What they're saying: Mastriano says on his campaign website that he would sign the "Heartbeat Bill" legislation, and end state funding to Planned Parenthood if elected.

  • Shapiro says he "will veto any bill that would restrict abortion rights, and he will expand access to reproductive care," according to his campaign website.

Between the lines: A constitutional amendment is also making its way through the state Legislature that says the right to abortion isn't guaranteed in the state constitution.

  • In Pennsylvania, a constitutional amendment, which cannot be vetoed by a governor, only needs a simple majority in two consecutive sessions before getting approval by a majority vote in a primary or general election.
  • It could go on the ballot as early as May 2023.

What to watch: Experts and advocates have warned that with the reversal, Pennsylvania will likely see an influx of out-of-state patients seeking abortions here, particularly from neighboring states that don't have similar protections.

  • Some worry it could put more strain on providers, many of which are already struggling to meet local need.

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