BREAKING: As of Friday, April 21, 2023 The Supreme Court votes to protect access to mifepristone, a widely-used and safe abortion medication. Learn more here.
Attacks on abortion access and Reproductive Justice have increased over the past several years. Devastatingly, what Americans are witnessing is not just a mandate against the right to bodily autonomy and healthcare, but those targeting abortion access are also restricting the right to vote, removing the works of Black authors from schools, and passing anti-gay and anti-trans legislation. The need to preserve reproductive rights as a human right is a matter of life or death, especially for Black women and birthing people.
What is the latest attack on abortion access? Restrictions to abortion medication, Mifepristone. The 5th Circuit’s decision on Mifepristone rolls back measures to ensure greater access to medication abortion. Even after this ruling, the drug remains available in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It can be prescribed by a doctor and distributed at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office, or preterm clinic. This politically-motivated decision undermines the science and the FDA’s authority, all while Americans, especially Black women, birthing people, and their families, bear the weight of this decision.
Abortion Landscape in Pennsylvania
New Voices was pivotal in helping champion the Philadelphia Reproductive Freedom Platform, a three-part bill that provides additional protections to providers and patients seeking abortion care in Philadelphia. These bills ensure that, no matter the actions taken by the state, abortion will remain protected in Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, abortion is currently still legal up to the federal minimum and medication abortion can be procured in a clinic but does not have to be administered in a clinic.
Senate Bill 106, which sought to change the Pennsylvania Constitution to make abortion illegal missed the deadline to be placed on the May 2023 ballot for citizen voting. Read our full statement on the bill below.
Additionally, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has recently launched a new abortion resources website. Check it out here.
After the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a draconian “heartbeat bill” went into effect in Ohio. In late 2022, a federal judge in Ohio put a pause on this bill saying it is unconstitutional. As of right now, abortion remains legal in Ohio up to 22-weeks, however, there are only SIX full-service abortion clinics in the state and medication abortion must be administered in a clinic with a 24-hour wait period.
Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, a coalition formed of eight Reproductive organizations, including New Voices, is actively working to secure the right to an abortion in the state of Ohio through a ballot initiative that would be voted on by citizens in November 2023. Before then, signatures need to be collected from EVERY county in the state. In an attempt to stimy this ballot iniative, legislators have signed a new voter suppression bill into law known as House Bill 458. Here is what the bill entails…
Forces in-person voters to use an unexpired photo ID to vote.
Limits drop boxes to one location per county.
Shortens the absentee ballot request window.
Adds citizenship as a designation on driver’s license and state ID cards.
Eliminates the last day of early voting.
Mandates that absentee ballots must be received by County Board of Elections 4 days after Election Day, as opposed to ten days.
Changes curbside voting rules so that only those with a physical disability or those physically unable to enter a polling location are eligible.
Shortens the window to cure provisional ballots from seven days to four days.