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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2024 12:18 PM
From: Representative Tarik Khan and Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes, Rep. Mary Jo Daley, Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson, Rep. Gina H. Curry, Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman, Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, Rep. Tarah Probst, Rep. Heather Boyd, Rep. Liz Hanbidge, Rep. Leanne Krueger, Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler
To: All House members
Subject: Removing Unnecessary Obstacles to Safe Abortion Access
Pennsylvania’s current law requires that facilities that provide abortions meet all the same regulations as ambulatory surgical facilities. However, ambulatory surgical facilities perform procedures much more complicated than abortion care services. These requirements put needless mandates on these clinics, like hospital-grade elevators, specialized flooring, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and extra-large size decrees for corridors, operating rooms, driveways, and parking lots. These unnecessary regulations do not align with the health care these facilities offer, block access to safe care, and were opposed by every major public health ­­and medical group, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.   
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to remove the requirement that abortion facilities meet the same regulations as ambulatory surgical centers. The legislation will also remove the excessive mandate that abortion providers maintain admitting privileges or have transfer agreements at hospitals, which only blocks access to care. Our legislation would remove providers' excessive barriers in delivering health care to Pennsylvanians and expand access to a key type of health care.
Abortion is an overwhelmingly safe procedure—major complications are exceedingly rare. Additionally, more than half of all abortions are medication abortions. Given this, there is no need to subject facilities to unnecessary requirements for surgical facilities, which only serve to limit the number of places where people can seek this health care.
Please join us in updating the current law to remove unnecessary obstacles to patients' ability to access abortion care safely.