Harrisburg — June 27, 2024 — The co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Sen. Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-Montgomery), Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), Rep. Gina H. Curry (D-Delaware) and Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Moyle v. United States regarding the legality of abortion in emergency healthcare under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA).

“Today, the Supreme Court dismissed a case, without ruling on the merits, that would have ended the decades old federal law, EMTALA, which allows patients to access abortion care as a form of stabilizing treatment during a medical emergency. States with abortion bans are barred from enforcing those laws to the extent they conflict with EMTALA. This means that while patients will still have to be near-death to receive the abortion care they need and deserve in states with abortion bans, they will be able to receive necessary and stabilizing treatment.  

EMTALA was enacted nearly 40 years ago as a way to ensure that pregnant women and individuals with HIV/AIDS experiencing medical emergencies would no longer be turned away at hospital emergency rooms. Because it is federal law, the Biden Administration argues that it supersedes abortion bans in states like Idaho, where the case originated. Today, we breathe a collective sigh of relief that the Supreme Court agrees for the time being. But let’s be clear:  while we avoided the catastrophic consequences of allowing states to ignore EMTALA, this dismissal isn’t enough.

Abortion bans still remain in place for 1 in 3 women of reproductive age in the United States. Allowing emergency abortion care to remain legal is the absolute bare minimum — it is not enough to merely allow abortion only when a patient is near-death. Women and pregnant people deserve to make choices about their bodies long before and regardless of if their lives are at stake.

Abortion remains safe and legal here in Pennsylvania, but the fight for expanded abortion access continues. The PA Women’s Health Caucus remains committed to fighting for abortion rights, and preserving and expanding access to reproductive healthcare in our Commonwealth, no matter what. Once again, we stand together in affirming that here in Pennsylvania, we believe that abortion is healthcare and healthcare is a human right.”