Rep. Lee’s Statement on PA Supreme Court Court Ruling Against Ban on Allowing Medicaid Recipients To Access Reproductive Care

**For IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

Contact: Emilia.Rowland@mail.house.gov – 330.212.2065

Rep. Lee’s Statement on PA Supreme Court Court Ruling Against Ban on Allowing Medicaid Recipients To Access Reproductive Care

(Pittsburgh, PA) – Today, Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12) released the following statement  after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled to send the 42-year-old ban on Medicaid recipients accessing reproductive care back to Commonwealth Court.

“The PA Supreme Court ruling is a win for reproductive justice–setting the stage to overturn decades of racist, classist policy that banned Medicaid recipients from accessing the care they needed—policy that directly contributed to Pittsburgh’s maternal mortality crisis where Black women are more likely to die during pregnancy than 97 percent of U.S. cities” said Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12). “ Ending the ban on Medicaid coverage of abortion care will save lives. Thank you to the organizers who made this progress possible as I continue fighting in Congress to end dangerous abortion restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and guarantee abortion access for ALL federally.”

Background:

The 1982 Abortion Control Act, which prohibited Medicaid from paying for an abortion, was ruled “unconstitutional” based on sex discrimination and the right to privacy and passed back to Commonwealth Court. In the ruling, the majority opinion said:

“(T)he right to reproductive autonomy, like other privacy rights, is fundamental,” the majority wrote. “The government does not bear a constitutional obligation to provide medical care to the indigent, nor is the government required to financially support the exercise of a fundamental right, including a woman’s exercise of her right to reproductive autonomy.

“However, once the government chooses to provide medical care for the indigent, including necessary care attendant to pregnancy for those women exercising their right to reproductive autonomy who decide to carry a pregnancy to term, the government is obligated to maintain neutrality so as not to intrude upon the constitutional right to full reproductive autonomy, which includes the right to terminate a pregnancy.”

This ruling comes just one week after the 51st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade which allowed access to reproductive care. Rep. Lee spent the anniversary emphasizing that we must fight back against Republican efforts to ban abortion nationwide, reinstitute Roe, and go further by centering reproductive justice and, just as Pennsylvania has now done, repeal onerous abortion riders like the Hyde Amendment that keep people nationwide from accessing abortion care.


Since taking office in January, Lee, who serves on the House Oversight Committee and Space, Science and Technology Committee, has delivered historic levels of federal investment totaling over $1 Billion brought back to Western PA, including over $200 million for infrastructure, over $50 million for affordable transit, and over $500 million to keep clean energy manufacturing at home in Pennsylvania. These investments will help improve Western Pennsylvania’s infrastructure and transit, ensure cleaner air and drinking water, lower housing costs, fund research institutions, fuel clean manufacturing, fund STEM innovation and entrepreneurship, boost workforce development, and create thousands of good paying union jobs.  Lee and her team have also delivered casework and constituent services to over 1,600 constituents with issues ranging from helping our seniors and disabled community access Medicare and social security to helping folks secure housing and helping families with immigration support and passports.

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