State House Speaker Joanna McClinton is touting the chamber’s swift passage of legislation that would protect women seeking abortion care in Pennsylvania from being criminally penalized by other states.
McClinton said it is the first time in over a decade that the state House has approved legislation (HB 1786) to protect abortion providers and patients.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to reverse nearly 50 years of precedent regarding abortion access was just the opening salvo in a multi-pronged attack on women’s reproductive rights,” McClinton (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) said. “But in Pennsylvania, we’re not going to allow extremists in other states to use our courts and law enforcement to assist in the harassment of women seeking or health care providers delivering care.”
McClinton applauded the bill’s prime sponsors, state Reps. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery ) and Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester) for their advocacy.
While the bill garnered bipartisan support, McClinton said its swift consideration and passage reaffirms the House Democratic Caucus’s commitment to protecting people’s rights, including the right to an abortion.
Following the Dobbs decision in June 2022, Pennsylvania’s House and Senate Republicans advanced legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide a pathway to criminalizing abortion. However, that legislation is required to pass the General Assembly again this session, and the House’s Democratic majority, elected in November 2022, is standing in the way of Republicans’ plans to enact abortion restrictions in the state.
While 21 other states have enacted outright bans on abortion or restrict the procedure earlier in pregnancy than the standard set by Roe v. Wade, abortion care remains legal in Pennsylvania.