Pennsylvania Abortion Procedures Remain Legal After Federal Court Ruling

LegalImage by Mike Braun

PENNSYLVANIA — Attorney General Michelle Henry confirmed Friday that abortion, including medication-assisted abortion, remains legal in Pennsylvania following the decision announced in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which Judge Matthew Joseph Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, stayed the decades-long standing approval by the FDA for mifepristone, a drug commonly used to terminate early pregnancies.

“I am deeply disappointed by the flawed decision made… in Texas. Health care providers and women need to know that Pennsylvania’s laws have not changed as a result of this ruling and abortion remains legal in our Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Henry. “Women deserve access to safe reproductive health care free from unwarranted interference by a court. I will continue to fight to ensure that the people of Pennsylvania get exactly that.”

In the United States, patients who are seeking medication abortions are often given a two-pill combination of mifepristone and misoprostol. In Pennsylvania, about 51% of abortions performed are medication-assisted abortions using both of these drugs.

Despite this Texas ruling, the Office of Attorney General is assuring Pennsylvanians that abortion remains legal in the Commonwealth under the Abortion Control Act. Pennsylvania’s laws have not changed with this ruling and abortion is permitted in Pennsylvania through the 23rd week of pregnancy, and afterward when necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.

Moreover, federal District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice of Washington State issued a same-day decision in State of Washington v. FDA, which stands in direct contradiction to Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling.  Judge Rice ordered the FDA to make no changes to the availability of mifepristone in the plaintiff states, of which Pennsylvania is one.

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