Judge Rules Planned Parenthood Can’t Force Pennsylvania Residents to Fund Abortions

State   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Mar 26, 2021   |   6:38PM   |   Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

You have to give Pennsylvania pro-abortionists a “P” for Persistence.

A whopping 38 years after the state passed its Abortion Control Act, they are still contesting the law.

The most recent (of many defeats) came this morning, according to Matt Miller. Here are his opening four paragraphs:

A Commonwealth Court panel Friday administered what could be a death blow to a challenge by a group of abortion providers to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act and its restriction regarding publicly financed abortions for women who are on Medical Assistance.

In short, the court ruled in an opinion by Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt that the providers have no legal standing to challenge the act on behalf of their Medical Assistance clients who do not meet the three narrow criteria specified in the law for public financing of their abortions.

“To allow reproductive health centers to assert the rights of others will require this court to rule on constitutional questions when the court has no way of knowing that the patients on whose behalf reproductive health centers purport to speak even want this assistance,” Leavitt wrote.

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The Abortion Control Act only allows for medical assistance funding for abortions that are necessary because of a danger to the life of the pregnant woman or which will terminate pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest.

This latest petition against the Department of Human Services was filed in 2019 by the Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, the Allentown Women’s Center, the Delaware County Women’s Center, the Philadelphia Women’s Center, Planned Parenthood Keystone, Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. Judge Leavitt noted these “providers perform 95 percent of the abortions in Pennsylvania.”


Miller mentions in passing that “Last year, Leavitt’s court allowed 26 GOP state legislators to intervene in the fight on behalf of the Department of Human Services,” reversing themselves after initially  blocking the legislators. Why the reversal when the legislators asked a second time? According to the Patriot-News

Leavitt found that the outcome of the case could affect their power to legislate, and specifically to appropriate government funding.

A ruling in favor of Allegheny Reproductive “could bar the General Assembly from ‘tying legislative strings’ to its appropriation of funds for the Medical Assistance program,” the judge wrote.

“The constitutional authority of the members of the General Assembly to control the commonwealth’s finances constitutes a legally enforceable interest that entitles them to intervene and be heard before the court rules in this matter,” she concluded.

How could the courts uphold the abortion providers when the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Abortion Control Act in 1985?

According to Judge Leavitt, the plaintiffs  argued that the decision “conflicts with recent development in Pennsylvania law, and is inconsistent with the modern-day understanding that any restriction on a woman’s reproductive autonomy is a form of sex discrimination.”

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.