Gov. Wolf Sounds Alarm on Harmful Effects of Anti-Abortion Policies

December 09, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf today was joined by Pennsylvania’s Attorney General (AG) Josh Shapiro, local legislative members, and abortion activists and stakeholders at People’s Park in Philadelphia to discuss the damaging impacts of anti-abortion policies in the wake of the United States Supreme Court hearing arguments on the Mississippi abortion case.

“Abortion is health care and it must remain safe and legal,” Gov. Wolf said. “Republican politicians have spent decades trying to dismantle the right to abortion and reproductive health care by passing restrictive abortion bans, including here in Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court ruling this spring could put necessary reproductive health care, including abortions, in jeopardy and we all need to sound the alarm.”

Since 2016, there have been six different anti-choice bills introduced by members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. In defending abortion policies, Gov. Wolf has vetoed three bills placed on his desk for signature and vowed to veto the rest.

Studies show that abortion bans hurt pregnant people, families, and society – leading to worse health outcomes for pregnant people and babies, increasing maternal mortality rates, and cause financial hardship on our economy. The Turnaway Study from the University of California San Francisco showed that a women or pregnant person is denied an abortion, they are more likely to have serious health complications, both at the end of the pregnancy and over a period of years following the pregnancy. Additionally, when a family that already has children is denied an abortion, those children are more likely to grow up below the federal poverty level.

“This is about our future, and I stand for a future where politicians can’t force birthing people to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term,” said Gov. Wolf.

Attendees included AG Shapiro, Senator Nikil Saval, Representative Mary Isaacson, representatives of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and members of Pennsylvania’s Commission for Women.

“Extreme politicians have continued a sustained assault on reproductive health care and the right to choose,” said AG Shapiro. “I will always stand up to protect that right and will defend Pennsylvanians from these cruel and unconstitutional restrictions.”

“Every person deserves freedom to make the decisions right for their lives, their families, and their futures,” said Sen. Saval. “The vast majority of Americans support this freedom, and legislators and elected officials need to protect it. A handful of Supreme Court justices shouldn’t have the power to strip it away. This is gender justice. This is racial justice. And this is economic justice.”  

“Abortion is health care and access to abortion is a constitutional right,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-175). “I am thankful for Governor Wolf recognizing that time and time again when he has vetoed legislation that would force women in Pennsylvania to endure nine months of pregnancy and labor against their will. The threat to abortion access is not just in Mississippi and it is not just in Pennsylvania – it is nationwide as conservatives and supposed pro-lifers try to overturn Roe v. Wade – an act that is irreconcilable with human rights laws across the globe.”

“Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania is proud to provide abortion, especially in a state already operating with a limited number of providers and many communities facing limited access to abortion care due to anti-abortion policy and laws,” said CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania Dayle Steinberg. “Roe v. Wade has never meant access to abortion for all, and ongoing attacks on abortion will continue to harm populations who already face barriers to care: women, Black, Indigenous and other people of color, the LGBTQI+ community, rural communities, immigrants, young people, poor people, and people with disabilities. We look forward to standing alongside Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro while doing all we can to protect and expand existing abortion access in Pennsylvania, fight against anti-abortion policy in our local communities and statewide, and work towards a future of bodily autonomy, reproductive freedom and abortion access for all.”

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