By Beth U

We came across this article while archive-surfing.  Twenty-eight years after it was published, SB3 and HB77 have been introduced in Pennsylvania.  If passed, these bills propose the most extreme restrictions on abortion in the country including banning them after twenty weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest, health or fetal anomalies.  These bills are two of many threatening access to sexual and reproductive health care on both state and federal levels.

Last week, President Trump placed antiabortion activist Teresa Manning in charge of the Title X program, which provides family planning funding for about 4 million Americans, the majority of whom are low-income people and people of color.

Among other things, Manning objects to the use of RU-486, or mifepristone, which is often used with misoprostol to spur an abortion during the early stages of a pregnancy.  I have written about access to misoprostol here.

Last month, Trump also signed legislation to allow states to withhold federal family-planning dollars from clinics that provide abortion services, a move that will deprive family-planning providers including Planned Parenthood of millions of federal dollars.  Without funding, clients will not have access abortion care, but also all the other diagnostic and treatment services necessary to basic sexual and reproductive health care, such as Pap smears used to detect cervical cancer.

Furthermore, the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act will prevent states from “direct spending” on “prohibited entities”– defined by the Act as any “essential community provider” that is “primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health, and related medical care” or “provides for abortions.”

*Image courtesy of John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives.

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