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In Pennsylvania

After Roe, abortion will still be allowed in most circumstances.  Hear from Pennsylvania Family Institute about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

After Roe, states will have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!

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THE BIG QUESTION

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

Pennsylvania will still allow most abortions after Roe. Read more about Pennsylvania’s legal restrictions on abortion below.

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WHAT’S NEXT

What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, once Roe is overturned?

Even with the good news of the overturning of Roe, Pennsylvania is facing a different and very significant court case on the subject of abortion. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry in Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, seeking to mandate taxpayer funding of abortion, and further asking the court to declare (invent) a right to abortion in Pennsylvania’s constitution. Such a ruling, which most court observers expect, would lead to the overturning of all current pro-life laws now on the books in Pennsylvania, and prevent any future enactment of laws restricting abortion. And abortions would be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The only effective response to such an unjust court ruling is an amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution, which would 1) overturn the court ruling forcing state taxpayer funding of abortion; 2) protect our existing pro-life laws; and 3) permit the enactment of future legal protection for the unborn. Passage and ratification of such an amendment is critical to protecting life in Pennsylvania – otherwise we could face taxpayer funded abortion on demand right up until birth – by order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Life Amendment legislation is now before the Pennsylvania House and Senate, which must pass it this summer, and again in 2023. At that time, it would then go to a statewide ballot for the voters of Pennsylvania to ratify. The governor can’t veto the amendment, and his signature is not needed.

MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Abortion is banned in Pennsylvania at 24 weeks. There are some exceptions to allowing an abortion after the legal limit and those must be performed in a hospital. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3211.

Pennsylvania also bans sex-selective abortion. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3204(c).

 

Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

Yes: The 23-week ban includes an exception for if the attending physician and another physician who has examined the woman agree in writing that the procedure is necessary to prevent the mother’s death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3211.


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Violations of the 23-week ban are considered up to a third-degree felony. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3211.

Violators of the counseling requirements are guilty of unprofessional conduct and their licenses are subject to suspension or revocation. ​​18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3205(c).

Violations of the born alive requirements are considered a third degree felony. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3212(b).


Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

Patients may sue physicians for knowing violations of the sex-selective ban (section 3204) and/or the counseling requirements (section 3205). 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3217.


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

Yes: “The physician must terminate the pregnancy in a manner which provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3211.


Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes: Consent from one parent is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. Consent may be waived in a medical emergency. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3206.


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes: Medical employees, students, and medical facilities are not required to perform or aid in the performance of abortions. Individuals must state their objection in writing. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3213.


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

Yes: Children born alive are considered a full person under the Pennsylvania Constitution. 

Physicians must provide the same degree of care and treatment to any other person in similar circumstances. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3212.


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes: Only medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy may perform abortions. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3203.


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes: Consent and counseling are required. ​​18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3205.


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes: A 24-hour delay after counseling is required. ​​18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3205.


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