Speaking on the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act was Dr. Michael New, member of “Americans United for Life, and leading expert on the effects of state level Pro-life legislation, at The Heritage Foundation Bloggers Briefing on August 3, 2010. Attendees were informed by the University of Alabama politics professor on public funding restrictions, pro-involvement laws, and moral consent laws.
Enthusiastic about this piece of legislation in particular, Dr. New believes it “highlights some of the best pro-life laws” and serves a “model for other states to follow.”
The Pennsylvania act contained five provisions:
- The parental consent law;
- Informed consent law;
- In-person counseling 24 hours prior to the abortion taking place;
- Spousal notification law; and, finally
- The imposition of any unnecessary burdens on the woman seeking the abortion.
Essentially, this Act gave more protection to state level Pro-life constitutional laws. After all the litigations and proceedings were wrapped up, on March 28, 1994, abortion rates were reduced in the state of Pennsylvania overall, and also, a much larger reduction of abortion rates occurred in counties farther away from those with abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The Provision to the Abortion Control Act that called for personal counseling with the provider, which could entail two separate trips for the woman to the clinic. This is a burden on the woman, especially, if she was living in a county without an abortion provider, making the abortion much more costly and less time efficient.
The years of 1992 through 1997 are the five years encompassing the enforcement of the Abortion Control Act, it having taken effect in 1994. Dr. New explained the factors that determine the fluctuation of abortion rates such as race, the poverty rate, and per capita income. (For more on the campaign waged by PP in black communities, click here.)
The state of Pennsylvania has 11 counties where abortions are regularly performed, and 16 counties where there are no abortions performed, and 40 neither contain a provider nor are adjacent to a county that does. Dr. New said that “big chunks of the state that actually really have no free-standing abortion providers.”