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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 01:01 PM
From: Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Local Use of Public Funds for Abortion Services
I plan to re-introduce legislation which would clarify that a local municipal agency may not arrange for, nor use any funds provided by taxpayers to provide for, abortions for which the use of public funds is not expressly authorized. As noted in the attached articles from the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia Department of Health arranged a late-term abortion in New Jersey for a teenager using city tax funds, even though the proper legal circumstances for the use of public funds were not present.

The Commonwealth’s public policy on the use of public monies for abortion is clear. Section 3215 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes provides that no Commonwealth funds and no Federal funds which are appropriated by the Commonwealth shall be expended by any State or local government agency for the performance of abortion, unless necessary to save the woman’s life, or in cases of rape or incest.

My legislation would amend Title 53 to make clear that state policy pre-empts local policy on this matter, and no municipal agency may arrange or pay for any abortion with public funds from any source, unless the reason the abortion is performed is one for which the expenditure of public funds would be permitted under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3215(c), and all reports required under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3215(c) are made.

Cosponsors of the legislation (SB 291) in the 2015-2016 session were: VULAKOVICH, GORDNER, ALLOWAY, AUMENT, RAFFERTY, STEFANO, FOLMER, SCARNATI AND WHITE.

View Attachment

Introduced as SB23