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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 4, 2022 12:38 PM
From: Representative Emily Kinkead and Rep. Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing the Civil Offense of Wrongful Conception
In light of the Supreme Court’s likely decision to overturn access to abortions - a part of basic, fundamental health care - protecting the rights and self-determination of all Pennsylvanian’s is more important than ever. Removing access to safe abortions compounds many inequities that those who can become pregnant face – from increased physical safety concerns to social and economic inequities to financial burdens associated with being pregnant. 
As a society, we expect those who can become pregnant to take sole responsibility – including taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies, shouldering the financial implications of ending or continuing a pregnancy, and the bearing the financial, physical, and psychological impacts of continued care of the pregnancy or child – which in turn absolves the impregnator of any accountability. This is deeply rooted in sexism and frequently harms the future success of a child born into such a situation, which in turn places greater burdens on our human services programs. Steps to improve equity in this area must be taken. 
This is why we will be introducing legislation that will establish wrongful conception as a civil offense. This will allow someone who is pregnant to seek civil liabilities from their impregnator if the impregnator did not take the appropriate precautions to prevent pregnancy in the case of an unwanted pregnancy or if their impregnator abandoned responsibilities to share the burden during the course of a pregnancy. This legislation would allow pregnant individuals to hold their impregnators accountable for 50% of all pregnancy-related costs incurred, as well as punitive damages to discourage further reckless behavior on the part of the impregnator in question and other individuals who can inseminate.
It is unfair and unjust for one person to bear the weight of a situation in which two were involved. This bill would place a portion of the burdens those who conceive are expected to handle onto the other party involved in conception by requiring financial payment from the impregnator involved. 
We must begin by breaking down societal inequities like this if we hope to provide a safe and fair Commonwealth for us all.