Retired Judge Cheryl Allen – who observed today’s oral arguments in-person in Pittsburgh – and attorney Janice Martino-Gottshall – who listened to the arguments in Harrisburg – are available for interviews.
(PITTSBURGH, PA – October 26, 2022) Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. PA Department of Human Services. The state’s abortion industry is attempting to circumvent the legislative process and mandate that tax dollars be used to pay for elective abortions. The abortion industry is also asking the court to invent new constitutional rights to eliminate existing limits on abortion in Pennsylvania that have been in place for the past thirty years.
“The abortion industry’s attorney argued that if the state provides medical assistance, then it has to pay for abortions for any reason. But their logic fails. Pennsylvania can choose to provide assistance for fuel efficient vehicles without needing to fund gas-guzzling vehicles. Pennsylvania can choose to fund mental health care for women with post-partum depression without having to pay for physician assisted suicide for women with post-partum depression. Pennsylvania policy can pay for health care for women and unborn babies without paying for the destruction of that unborn life,” states Janice Martino-Gottshall, Senior Counsel at the Independence Law Center.
“The abortion industry is attempting to force all Pennsylvanians to underwrite ending innocent lives through abortion,” says Cheryl Allen, Retired Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge and Of Counsel for Independence Law Center. “A ruling in the abortion industry’s favor would present Planned Parenthood and the industry with an influx of taxpayer’s money and jeopardizes our existing abortion laws against late-term abortions.”
The Commonwealth Court ruled against the abortion industry on March 26, 2021, but the industry appealed to the PA Supreme Court. The abortion industry’s lawsuit is asking the court not only to strike down the statutory law that’s been in place for decades regarding abortion funding through Medicaid, but also to declare a new right to an abortion in the state constitution. If the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules in favor of the abortion industry, Pennsylvania could lose existing health protections for mothers and preborn children. Moreover, Pennsylvania citizens would be forced to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars. Current law allows taxpayer funds to be used in cases of life endangerment of the mother, rape, and incest. But the abortion industry is demanding taxpayer’s money for abortions for any and all reasons.
The Independence Law Center filed an amicus brief in this case on behalf of a host of nationally recognized organizations and leaders in the Black community. The brief helped to expose the role eugenics has played in the abortion industry’s ongoing targeting of Black babies for abortion. “From its inception, the abortion industry has sought to control and hinder the growth of the Black population, a core objective of the movement’s founders…. Abortion‒as weaponized against the Black population‒comes from a history of eugenics and pervasive racism, spawning a legacy that harms the Black community. If our goal is to improve access to beneficial healthcare for Black communities, abortion is not the way.” (Brief of Amici Curiae, page 3-4)
Independence Law Center is a public-interest civil rights law firm working to protect human rights, life, family, and liberty in Pennsylvania.