Pennsylvania Senate Passes Two Abortion Bans

(MEDIA ADVISORY) The Pennsylvania Senate passed an unconstitutional measure today which bans a safe, medically proven, method of second trimester abortion while also banning abortion at 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.

The bill now heads to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  The Pennsylvania House passed a similar measure last year against the strong opposition of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“When Pennsylvania politicians ignore the medical community and advance these cruel abortion bans—women are the ones left to pay the price,” said Amanda Allen, Senior State Legislative Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.  “We call upon the Pennsylvania House to reject this latest attack on women’s health care.”

When bans like Pennsylvania’s are challenged in court, they do not pass constitutional muster.  Similar laws banning a safe, medically proved method of second trimester abortion in Louisiana,Kansas and Oklahoma have not taken effect due to challenges brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights; the ACLU has also successfully blocked a similar ban in Alabama.  Additionally, the Supreme Court refused to review North Dakota’s ban on abortion as early as 6 weeks of pregnancy and Arkansas’ ban on abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy just last year; in 2014, the nation’s highest court refused to review Arizona’s ban on abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy after it had been declared unconstitutional. 

Additionally, major medical groups oppose these types of bans.  In an amicus brief opposing the Kansas measure, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that the ban “raises serious safety and health concerns for women as well as intrudes unnecessarily into the patient-physician relationship.”

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