HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro says the state has launched a new abortion access website “to provide facts and information in the wake of the Texas decision seeking to restrict access to medication abortions nationwide.”
According to the Governor’s office, the “Freedom to Choose” website has an interactive map to find reproductive health care providers, how to “make a plan” and how to connect with financial support.
The map includes locations across Pennsylvania, as well as neighboring states New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Maryland.
The website does include a disclaimer that says “this website does not provide legal and medical advice. Its purpose is to provide information only.”
“Your rights and freedoms here in Pennsylvania have not changed — you can get a safe, legal medication abortion using mifepristone in our Commonwealth,” said Governor Shapiro. “As your Governor, I believe decisions on reproductive care are to be made between women and their doctors, not extremist politicians or radical court rulings. Let’s be clear: this Texas judge’s attempt to restrict access to medication abortions is just another attack on a woman’s right to choose. This is about protecting our freedoms, and I won’t back down from that fight.
“This new website will help those seeking critical reproductive healthcare services, no matter what part of the Commonwealth they live in or whether they are traveling from a state that has restricted abortion access. My Administration is exploring every possible action we can take to keep medication abortion accessible, expand access to reproductive care, and continue safeguarding the freedom to choose — including defending abortion access as a party to Friday’s federal court ruling in Washington state under the leadership of Attorney General Michelle Henry.”
Access to the most commonly used method of abortion in the U.S. plunged into uncertainty on Friday, following conflicting court rulings over the legality of the abortion medication mifepristone, which has been widely available for more than 20 years.
For now, the drug that the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2000 appeared to remain at least immediately available in the wake of two separate rulings that were issued in quick succession by federal judges in Texas and Washington.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ordered a hold on federal approval of mifepristone in a decision that overruled decades of scientific approval. But that decision came at nearly the same time that U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice, an Obama appointee, essentially ordered the opposite and directed U.S. authorities not to make any changes that would restrict access to the drug in at least 17 states where Democrats sued in an effort to protect availability.
The extraordinary timing of the competing orders revealed the high stakes surrounding the drug nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and curtailed access to abortion across the country. President Joe Biden said his administration would fight the Texas ruling.
The whiplash of the conflicting decisions is likely to put the issue on an accelerated path to the Supreme Court.