Philadelphia to consider local abortion access protections

Sep 13, 2022, 10:34 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2022, 12:23 pm
Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym speaks with members of the media during a news conference in P...

Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym speaks with members of the media during a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. A handful of Philadelphia City Councilmembers announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation aimed at protecting access to abortions inside city limits— including a bill the lawmakers said would give Philadelphia one of the strongest privacy protection laws in the country. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Members of the Philadelphia City Council announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation aimed at protecting access to abortions inside city limits — including a bill proponents said would be one of the nation’s strongest privacy protection laws.

The measures would bar the voluntary sharing of information about reproductive health choices for the purpose of prosecution or civil lawsuits and update the city’s antidiscrimination laws to include protections for reproductive health decisions. It also would create a right of patients and providers to counter-sue if they are sued by out-of-state residents under one of several laws seeking to prevent people from traveling across state lines to seek abortions.

The legislation will be introduced at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

A resolution calls on the city to bar city resources from being used to cooperate with out-of-state lawsuits, prosecutions or investigations related to abortions, to work with providers to increase safety at clinics, to create an abortion access task force and to support allocating additional city funds to help offset the costs of abortions and reproductive care among other requests.

“We want to affirm our municipal rights at this time to be able to establish new protections for individuals, for people here in this city and to be able to send that message broadly across the state and across the country,” said At-Large Councilmember Helen Gym.

Gym said the supporters expected pushback, but she said the bills would hopefully set some legal precedent and “advance new territory” in protecting reproductive health decisions.

The proposed local legislation comes after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a ruling that pushed regulating abortions to states. It also comes less than two months before midterm elections that will likely decide the future of abortion access in Pennsylvania moving forward.

“We did want to push on the privacy issue because we think it’s so fundamental and it’s really the fundamental underpinning behind Roe v. Wade, that (abortion) was and always is a private decision about what to do with your healthcare and your body,” Gym said.

Philadelphia isn’t the first municipality to consider local regulations around abortion access.

In July, the Pittsburgh City Council passed three bills aimed at protecting access to abortion locally. Those measures included a law that protects abortion providers from out-of-state investigations — known as a shield law and legislation that requires local law enforcement agencies to deprioritize the enforcement of any criminal ban on abortion enacted at the state level.

The third Pittsburgh bill increased scrutiny on practices at pregnancy crisis centers, which often work to dissuade pregnant women from seeking abortions. It creates a complaint process for what the council said were deceptive practice and a way to refer those complaints for possible criminal investigation.

Leaders in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have called the cities refuges for people travelling from other states that have enacted strict abortion bans to seek reproductive healthcare.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Amazon logo is pictured on Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon filed a lawsuit on Mon...
Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sues Washington’s labor agency over alleged hazards

Amazon has sued Washington state’s labor agency following disputes with regulators over citations and fines imposed on the company for worker safety issues.
11 hours ago
FILE - A Tyson food product is seen in Montpelier, Vt., on Nov. 18, 2011. Tyson, one of the world's...
Associated Press

Tyson Foods consolidates corporate offices, leaves Chicago

Tyson Foods will relocate around 1,000 corporate positions from the Chicago area as well as South Dakota to its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. One of the world’s largest meat producers said Wednesday that corporate staff at its Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, locations and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, office will begin relocating early next year. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Lawyer: Wash. ruling in Black man’s case showed racial bias

SEATTLE (AP) — The attorney for a Black man serving a virtual life sentence for shootings he committed at 17 has asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider a split ruling that upheld his sentence, saying the leniency it granted white defendants in similar situations reveals racial bias. The court last month upheld the 61-year […]
1 day ago
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule, with a multinational crew of four astronauts, lift...
Associated Press

Russian launches to space from US, 1st time in 20 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.. (AP) — For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine. Their SpaceX flight was delayed by Hurricane Ian, which ripped across the state last week. “I […]
1 day ago
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule, with a multinational crew of four astronauts, lift...
Associated Press

Russian launches to space from US, 1st time in 20 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.. (AP) — For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine. Their SpaceX flight was delayed by Hurricane Ian, which ripped across the state last week. “I […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by the Nebraska National Forest & Grasslands Service shows distant flames Sunda...
Associated Press

Nebraska Sandhills wildfire more than half contained

HALSEY, Neb. (AP) — A destructive Nebraska Sandhills wildfire that saw one firefighter die while fighting the flames was more than half contained by Wednesday, officials said. The size of the Bovee Fire in west-central Nebraska was mapped Tuesday at nearly 19,000 acres, or about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers), up from the 15,000 […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Philadelphia to consider local abortion access protections