On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This caused a shift in how our country sets abortion laws and restrictions.
Since abortion is no longer a federally protected right, the power to legalize abortion is in the hands of state legislators to enact and repeal laws.
How Does this Impact Women in Pennsylvania?
Before the Supreme Court decision, abortion was legal in Pennsylvania until 24 weeks gestation and after in cases of life endangerment.
These laws haven’t changed after the ruling because Pennsylvania lawmakers haven’t moved to restrict abortion. Therefore, women haven’t experienced any impact in our state.
Changes in state government can lead to new laws and regulations, but the mid-term gubernatorial election results have made it unlikely for any restrictive abortion laws to pass.
Governer-elect Josh Shapiro maintains he will veto any legislation limiting abortion access.
What About Women in Other States?
Women in specific states do face more abortion laws and restrictions than women in Pennsylvania, while other states have even looser restrictions.
For instance, women in Ohio and West Virginia have less access to abortion than in Pennsylvania after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Those who live close to the Pennsylvania border may consider traveling to our state in search of abortion services.
This has been a new pattern across the country.
What About Life Endangerment?
There was a surge in fear and anxiety after the ruling in June. Many women were nervous their lives could be in danger if they were denied life-saving treatment.
However, every state allows necessary action to save the woman’s life, including termination.
The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services wrote a letter to healthcare providers reiterating that they must act to save a pregnant woman’s life under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This law preempts any state restrictions, even if the actions conflict with state abortion laws.
An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are and if the pregnancy is viable and located inside the uterus. If the pregnancy is located outside the uterus, it is an ectopic pregnancy and must be treated quickly to prevent complications.