In light of Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Pennsylvania v. Casey, we want to affirm the following current legal realities in Pennsylvania:
- It is currently legal in the state of Pennsylvania to receive an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. This includes surgical abortion procedures, as well as non-surgical abortions, like abortion medications (often Mifespristone). Abortion medications may be used up to 10 weeks gestation. After 24 weeks, abortions may be legally performed in Pennsylvania to prevent death or substantial and irreversible physical damage to the pregnant person. Pennsylvania currently enforces the following abortion restrictions:
- A pregnant person must receive a consultation with a physician 24 hours before the abortion procedure.
- A pregnant person under the age of 18 must receive parental consent for an abortion.
- It is currently legal in the state of Pennsylvania to buy, own, sell, or transfer emergency contraceptives, like Plan B (levonorgestrel) or Ella (ulipristal). They can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies.
- It is currently legal in the state of Pennsylvania to help someone else receive an abortion in Pennsylvania up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. That includes acting as the medical provider performing the abortion; acting as a volunteer, employee, contractor, board member, or donor with an organization that facilitates access to abortion; or providing emotional, financial, housing, transportation, or any other assistance to a person seeking an abortion.
- It is currently legal in the state of Pennsylvania to use all forms of birth control, including IUDs, oral contraceptives, shots, and implants.
- If you cannot obtain an abortion in the state of Pennsylvania for any reason (including because the abortion you want or need is not legal in Pennsylvania), it is currently legal to leave the state of Pennsylvania to receive a legal abortion elsewhere.
- It is currently legal to help a person leave the state of Pennsylvania to receive a legal abortion elsewhere, including because the abortion that person wants or needs is not legal in Pennsylvania.
- It is currently legal to travel to Pennsylvania to receive an abortion that is illegal in your home state.
- It is currently legal EVERYWHERE to protest for reproductive justice and freedom, to lobby legislators, and to advocate for your stances. This includes volunteering for candidates who share your beliefs.
- It is currently legal EVERYWHERE to share stories of legal abortions or abortions that were denied. Share why you received a legal abortion, or why you supported someone who did. Share about how you or your loved ones were affected when an abortion was denied to someone you love. Even if these abortions are no longer legal or are criminalized in the future, you cannot face legal consequences for exercising a right you had at the time, or for sharing what happened when you or a loved one were denied the right to have an abortion.
If you are a victim of sexual violence, please visit your local rape crisis centers. We offer resources to assist with all aspects of healing, including reproductive healthcare and family planning. Call 1-888-772-7227 to find your local rape crisis center, or visit https://pcar.org/help-pa/find-services.
For nearly 50 years, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape has worked to end sexual violence and advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault. We partner with and represent a combined network of victim resource centers that help more than 30,000 survivors each year in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.