Axios Philadelphia Thought Bubble
June 24, 2022
We're back in your inbox with a special Axios Philadelphia Thought Bubble, our snap dispatch that breaks down the events that shape our community.
Smart Brevity™ count: 321 words — a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Roe v. Wade reversed
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.
- Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro has said he would defend abortion rights.
- Republican candidate Doug Mastriano has pledged to completely ban abortions and sponsored legislation that would ban abortion once a "fetal heartbeat" is detected.
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.
- 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.
Thanks for reading.