The overturning of Roe v. Wade did not affect Pennsylvania’s existing abortion laws. This is because Pennsylvania already had abortion laws in place making it legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy and after in cases of life or health endangerment.
However, the upcoming gubernatorial and legislative races could change abortion laws in Pennsylvania depending on who is elected into these key positions.
What Were the Effects of Overturning Roe v. Wade?
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, they removed the federal constitutional protection for abortion in every state through the second trimester. Now, state laws decide abortion access in each state.
For some states, this triggered a significant legal change if abortion restrictions were already written into their state laws. For states like ours, not much has changed for now.
Abortion Access Causes Travel to Pennsylvania
As a state with abortion legal through 24 weeks, women may now travel to PA for abortion if they live in a state with more restrictions like Ohio or West Virginia.
If this is something you’re thinking about, we always advise every woman to take the necessary precautions before making any abortion plans.
Taking Necessary Health Precautions
If considering abortion, you will want to take necessary health precautions, including:
Having an ultrasound will identify how far along you are (gestation), if the pregnancy is progressing (viable), and the location of the pregnancy.
The pregnancy gestation will determine which abortion procedure you’re eligible for. The FDA has only approved medication abortion (the abortion pill) for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. After this window, surgical abortion might be recommended.
Having a viable pregnancy means that your pregnancy is progressing and you haven’t miscarried. Miscarriage may require a different medical procedure or it may resolve naturally.
If the pregnancy is located outside of the uterus it is an ectopic pregnancy. This usually requires medical intervention as it can be life-threatening. It’s best to identify ectopic pregnancy early, as abortion will not treat it and it can lead to tubal rupture if located in a fallopian tube (the most common type of ectopic pregnancy.)
Along with an ultrasound, STD testing is another health precaution to prioritize before an abortion. Since abortion disturbs the normal barrier created by the cervix, existing STDs can be spread further into the reproductive organs. This can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can cause scar tissue and pockets of infected fluid in your reproductive system, which can lead to permanent complications. These include infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and tubo-ovarian abscess. It can also raise the risk of future ectopic pregnancies.
We test and treat the two most common bacterial STDs at our clinic: chlamydia and gonorrhea. Schedule an appointment for a free screening.
Understand the Risks
If you have a history of mental health issues, abortion could increase the risk of negative mental health problems following abortion.
Receive Free Services at North Care Clinic
We’re here to be a resource for women facing pregnancy by providing free medical services and support. We care because we’ve been there. Many of our staff and volunteers have been involved in unplanned pregnancies and want to help.
Schedule a no-cost appointment by calling us at 215-798-3107 or texting us at 267-656-6867.
Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE Open Med. 2018 Oct 29;6:2050312118807624. doi: 10.1177/2050312118807624. PMID: 30397472; PMCID: PMC6207970.
“Mifeprex (Mifepristone) Information | FDA.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information. Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.
“Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – Symptoms and Causes – Mayo Clinic.” Mayo Clinic, 30 Apr.2022,https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352594.
“Title 18 – PA General Assembly.” The Official Website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly., https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=32. Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.
“Medical Abortion – Mayo Clinic.” Mayo Clinic – Mayo Clinic, 29 July 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687.
“Dilation and Curettage (D&C) – Mayo Clinic.” Mayo Clinic – Mayo Clinic, 19 Oct. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dilation-and-curettage/about/pac-20384910.