July 25, 2016 — A Pennsylvania lawmaker on Wednesday proposed legislation that would repeal provisions of a state law (Act 122) that holds abortion clinics to the same building code standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASC), Rewire reports.
Pennsylvania Rep. Daylin Leach (D) proposed the bill, which is co-sponsored by state Sens. Art Haywood (D), Larry Farnese (D) and Judy Schwank (D). According to Rewire, the bill is a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down a similar provision in a Texas omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) (Wilson, Rewire, 7/21).
The Supreme Court case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, centered on two provisions of the Texas law. One required abortion clinics in the state to meet ASC building standards, and the other required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
In a 5-3 decision, the high court held that both contested provisions violated the U.S. Constitution by imposing an undue burden on a woman seeking abortion care (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30). The ruling is expected to have implications for state-level antiabortion-rights measures that have proliferated in recent years throughout the United States (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/28).
Comments on Pa. proposal
Leach noted that while there is a "nationwide attack on patients and their doctors," the Supreme Court's ruling in Whole Woman's Health affirms a woman's right to abortion under the Constitution.
"Abortion is a legal, [c]onstitutionally-protected right that should be available to all women," Leach said, adding, "Every member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly swore an oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States, so we must act swiftly to repeal this unconstitutional requirement" (Rewire, 7/21).