Committee Approves Constitutional Amendment to Prevent Court from Changing Pennsylvania Abortion Laws

HARRISBURG — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a constitutional amendment, sponsored by Sen. Judy Ward (R-30), on Tuesday to prevent the court from changing Pennsylvania’s abortion laws. 

Pennsylvania law does not permit taxpayer funding for most abortions. A case now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. PA Department of Human Services, jeopardizes existing restrictions on abortion and could result in taxpayer funded elective abortions.

In response, Sen. Ward offered and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50), passed Senate Bill 956

“I was grateful to Chairman Brooks for bringing the constitutional amendment up for a vote today,” said Sen. Ward. “This amendment doesn’t change state abortion laws at all, it prevents the courts from changing them. And it prevents the courts from forcing taxpayers to pay for elective abortions.”

Senate Bill 956, if passed by the General Assembly in two consecutive sessions, will go to a vote of the people of Pennsylvania. 

“The Supreme Court’s job is not to legislate from the bench,” said Sen. Ward. “My constitutional amendment would make it so that the people’s elected representatives are the ones who set policy regarding abortions, not activist judges. When it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn and protecting women’s health, we must keep the power to legislate in the hands of the people’s representatives.”

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-2421