ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
HB 904 (PN 891) would amend the Abortion Control Act (Title 18 Chapter 32) to prohibit an abortion at roughly six weeks gestation. Under current law, a woman can obtain an abortion at any time up to 24 weeks after her last menstrual period if a physician deems it necessary. Any violation would be graded as a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $15,000. Doctors would also be civilly liable to the patient for damages.
HB 904 is:
- Extreme. Make no mistake, HB 904 would effectively ban all abortion in PA at roughly 6 weeks gestation. This is before many people even know they are pregnant. This bill would take away a person’s right to make their own medical decision before they even know they have a decision to make.
- Brazenly unconstitutional. For nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has held, and repeatedly reaffirmed, that states may not, for any reason, ban abortion before viability.
- Disproportionate. Restrictions on abortion have a disproportionate impact on those who already experience these barriers in health care, including young people, women of color, those with disabilities, lower incomes, people who live in rural areas, and those that are undocumented.
- Life-threatening. By losing access to safe, legal abortion, women will face the devasting and life threatening consequences. In 1965, one out of every six women who died from pregnancy-related causes had obtained an illegal abortion.