Senate Bill 106
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2022
(Pittsburgh, PA) – While their constituents slept, the Pennsylvania State Senate met at midnight on Friday, July 8 to pass Senate Bill 106 which contains two amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the first proposing that there is no constitutional right to tax-payer funded abortion and the second proposing there is no right to any abortion, paving the way for criminalization. These covert government proceedings should tell Pennsylvanians what Black women and gender-expansive folx have known for decades: the government often cleaves to the ideals of sexism and white supremacy to hoard power and preserve the status quo.
The Pennsylvania State Senate is testing the waters of abortion restriction in the state and it will have drastic effects for women and birthing people in the entire region. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, several states that border Pennsylvania immediately began enacting “trigger bans.” West Virginia no longer allows for elective abortions after the first trimester. Ohio has a total ban on abortions after six-weeks with few exceptions. These restrictions deepen public health emergencies–including the Black maternal health crisis– that can already be felt in Pennsylvania, a state that has fast become a hub for abortion care throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
“This bill was passed under the cover of darkness similarly to the history of other white supremacist tactics that have plagued the United States of America since its inception,” New Voices’ Executive Director Kelly Davis says. “Those that suggest that SB106 won’t be an issue because it will be voted on by the people underestimate the power of patriarchal white supremacist solidarity and its cherished offspring–voter suppression and exclusionary healthcare.”
New Voices for Reproductive Justice is committed to engaging Black women, girls, and gender expansive folx in the importance of civic engagement as a tool for harm reduction through our Voice Your Vote! Project. We will work to ensure that Black voters have the resources they need to make informed and educated decisions in the November midterms that can support a State Senate and House of Representatives that truly speaks for the communities they serve. We continue to support Black communities across Pennsylvania to help them combat oppression and build communities free of systemic violence, including attacks on bodily autonomy.
As we continue to grapple with the ever-shifting landscape of abortion access, Black people who have experienced state-sanctioned violence associated with abortion restrictions are encouraged to apply to New Voices’ #SayHERName Justice Fund. Learn more at /sayhernamejusticefund
New Voices for Reproductive Justice is a multi-state organization based in Pennsylvania and Ohio dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive folx. Founded in Pittsburgh in 2004, New Voices has served over 200,000 Black women, femmes, girls and folx through leadership development, community organizing, policy advocacy and culture change. Our priority issues include Black maternal health, abortion access and environmental justice. New Voices advocates at the national, state and local level for Reproductive Justice – the Human Right of all people to control our bodies, sexuality, gender, work, reproduction and ability to form our families. Our long-term social impact goal is that Black women, femmes, girls and folx live long, healthy and joyful lives.