Abortion in Pennsylvania

Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania, however there are some restrictions regarding gestational limits, parental consent for minors, and mandated counseling. This article provides an overview of the legality and accessibility of abortion in Pennsylvania.

Legality of Abortion

Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania up until 23 weeks and 6 days after the first day of the pregnant person’s last menstrual period. After this point, abortion is banned except for medical emergencies.

Some key details on Pennsylvania’s abortion laws:

Banned After 23 Weeks, 6 Days

  • Abortions are banned after 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, counted from the first day of the pregnant person’s last menstrual period.
  • Exceptions are allowed if:

Parental Consent Required If Under 18

  • If the pregnant person is under 18 years old, they must get permission from a parent or legal guardian.
  • As an alternative, they can seek a judicial bypass, which waives the consent requirement.

Counseling Required 24 Hours in Advance

  • 24 hours before an abortion the provider must give mandatory counseling providing specific information set by Pennsylvania law.
  • For pregnant people 18 years or older, this can be done over the phone.
  • For pregnant people under 18, counseling must be done in-person along with a parent or guardian, and then there is a 24 hour waiting period.

Accessing Abortion Care

Although abortion is legal in Pennsylvania, there are still obstacles to accessing care including gestational limits, financial costs, and abortion stigma. Here are some tips for overcoming barriers:

Finding a Provider

Financial and Logistical Support

  • A number of national and local organizations offer financial assistance, lodging support, transportation help, and more:
  • Confirm eligibility requirements and availability of support before scheduling your appointment.

Details on Pennsylvania Abortion Laws

Below are further specifics on some of Pennsylvania’s main abortion restrictions:

Counseling Requirement

  • At least 24 hours before an abortion the pregnant person must receive state-mandated counseling on topics such as:
  • For pregnant people over 18, this is often conducted by phone.
  • For those under 18, counseling must be done in-person along with parent/guardian.

Parental Consent

  • If the pregnant person is under 18 they must get permission from a parent or legal guardian prior to the abortion.
  • Alternatives are:

Gestational Age Ban

  • Abortions are banned starting at 23 weeks and 6 days after the first day of the pregnant person’s last menstrual period.
  • The only exceptions after this gestational limit are if abortion is necessary to save the life or protect the health of the pregnant person.

In Summary

Abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania but there are some obstacles related to gestational age limits, parental involvement for minors, and counseling requirements. By arming yourself with information about the laws, as well as resources for funding and logistical assistance, you can access your right to abortion care. Don’t hesitate to seek additional help from national hotlines and local abortion funds if needed.

FAQs

What are Pennsylvania’s abortion laws?

Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania up until 23 weeks and 6 days after the first day of a pregnant person’s last menstrual period. After 23 weeks and 6 days abortion is banned except for medical emergencies and to preserve the life/health of the pregnant person. Parental consent is required if under 18 and counseling must occur 24 hours in advance.

See also  Abortion in Illinois

How can I get financial help to obtain an abortion in Pennsylvania?

There are national organizations such as the National Network of Abortion Funds, as well as local abortion funds, that offer financial assistance. Prepare by confirming you meet eligibility criteria before scheduling your appointment.

What if I’m under 18 and unable to get parental consent?

Those under 18 who cannot obtain permission from their parents or guardians can instead seek “judicial bypass.” This involves getting approval directly from a judge to waive the usual consent requirement.

What if I’m past 23 weeks pregnant – can I still get an abortion?

If you are beyond 23 weeks and 6 days after your last menstrual period, abortion is banned in Pennsylvania except for limited circumstances needed to preserve the life and health of the pregnant person. At that point your options would be to travel to another state with later gestational limits or carry the pregnancy to term.

Where are the nearest out-of-state abortion clinics to Pennsylvania?

Some options for Pennsylvania residents wanting to go out-of-state for abortion care include clinics in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and beyond. Use online clinic directories to search for places nearest you. Consider things like gestational limits, costs, and types of abortion offered.

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