The legal and political battle over abortion

Pa's Republican-controlled legislature is already clearing hurdles in the abortion battle. We'll discuss the political avenues being tested and the emerging legal conflicts.

Listen 49:15
The Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

While abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg legislators have been busy with a workaround to prevent courts or a Democratic governor from vetoing an abortion ban or restrictions. A constitutional amendment recently passed the Pennsylvania House and Senate that declares the right to an abortion is not enshrined in the commonwealth’s Constitution. This is just the first step in a long process, but it shows the direction the GOP-controlled legislature is headed.

Today, we’ll talk about the political fight over abortion in Pennsylvania with Republican State representative KATE KLUNK of York County and House Democratic Leader JOANNA MCCLINTON, representing Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.

Then, since the Supreme Court decision, nine states have passed outright bans on abortion, and more are coming. These laws have raised all sorts of troubling and complicated legal questions around out-of-state travel, medication abortions, and the prosecution of providers and patients. Drexel University law professor DAVID COHEN walks us through some of the legal conflicts that are emerging and explains what this uncertainty means for law enforcement, providers and people seeking abortions.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal