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Pennsylvania's Victory for Reproductive Rights — Poster of the Week




Repeal All Abortion Laws!

Women's National Abortion Action Coalition

Offset, 1971

San Francisco, CA

44861


Since the abysmal 2022 Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, wins for reproductive rights have been sorely needed. This week, Pennsylvania provided one.

 

The Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 prohibited Medicaid from covering abortion unless the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest, or put the patient’s life at risk. As a result, the state was able to legally discriminate against low-income women for forty years. In 2019, seven Pennsylvania abortion providers filed a lawsuit arguing that the 1982 law discriminates based on sex and thereby violates the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) of Pennsylvania’s state constitution. The lower court dismissed the case in 2021, but on Monday of this week, the state Supreme Court overturned that dismissal. The lower court must now reconsider whether Medicaid can distinguish between women who want to seek an abortion and those who want to pursue a full-term pregnancy.


Abortion has not been ratified into the Pennsylvanian constitution, but for now it is still legal for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The lower court must now decide whether low-income people are permitted financial aid to that right, based on the ERA clause of their constitution. Monday’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision is a victory igniting hope for people across the country.


CSPG's poster of the week was created by the Women's National Abortion Action Coalition (WNAAC), a national organization formed in 1971 to organize for reproductive justice on a federal level. The coalition was deliberately inclusive, including high school and college students, women of color, and low-income women: “The women who suffer most from the inability to have legal abortions are the working and poor women, especially Black, Chicana, Asian American, Latina and Native American women.” They organized massive nation-wide demonstrations, including the one shown here on November 20, 1971. They disbanded in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, but their legacy of strength in inclusion and solidarity remains essential.

 

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