Joint amicus brief before Pennsylvania Supreme Court argues that abortion harms women, should not be funded by taxpayers

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, December 13, 2021 – Human Coalition announced today the filing of a joint amicus curiae (friend of the court) legal brief before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, arguing that the state has the authority to ban Medicaid funding of abortion. The case of Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, et al. v. PA Department of Human Services, et al. involves a challenge to the state’s Medicaid abortion coverage ban.

Human Coalition filed the brief along with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, and the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The brief, authored by Alliance Defending Freedom, explains how abortion inflicts physical and psychological harm on women, and argues that Pennsylvania has a legitimate interest in protecting both mother and child by not funding abortion.

“Abortion leads to many risks to a mother’s mental and physical health, leading to
increased risk of mental health disorders, short- and long-term harms to physical health, and even death,” the brief states. “And abortion can harm children in later pregnancies due to an increased risk of preterm birth.”

The brief cites one study showing that women undergoing abortions had higher risks of death from all causes (162 %), from suicide (154 %), and from natural causes (144 %) than other women who delivered a baby.

“Abortion can inflict such significant psychological trauma on some women that they choose to take their own life. And medical studies have shown that the risk of suicide increases after a woman has an abortion,” the brief states.

“Commonwealth’s refusal to fund a procedure that leads to substantial harm to women and children serves its interest in protecting the health of mother and child.”

The brief also includes testimonies from women who have had abortions, provided by Human Coalition, which reveal the psychological harm they endured from their abortion.

“Amicus Human Coalition operates the website ‘The Abortion Memorial,’ where individuals can post their abortion experiences. Many of these stories detail the psychological harm that mothers experience after abortion. Many mothers gave their child a name, wrote directly to them, and expressed regret at never meeting them,” the brief states.

Chelsey Youman, National Director of Public Policy for Human Coalition, stated:

“This brief documents what everyone must know about abortion—it creates significant physical and psychological tolls on women in addition to taking an innocent life in the womb. Women are the ones left carrying the burdens of their abortions and in many ways become a casualty of their abortion as well.  Abortion-seeking women are among America’s most vulnerable and most underserved groups; the state should not be funding abortion and possibly enabling those who coerce women to abort.

“We must also understand the painful circumstances that lead them to choose abortion, and seek to give them every possible alternative. Human Coalition exists to serve these women and provide them all the support they need to choose alternatives to abortion.”

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