Kinkead cosponsoring bill to protect out-of-state abortion seekers | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kinkead cosponsoring bill to protect out-of-state abortion seekers

click to enlarge Kinkead cosponsoring bill to protect out-of-state abortion seekers
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Signs at a May 2022 rally and march to defend abortion rights in Downtown Pittsburgh
State Rep. Emily Kinkead is among a trio of lawmakers seeking to protect out-of-state abortion seekers from being charged for obtaining the procedure in Pennsylvania.

Kinkead (D-Allegheny) is working with Carol Hill-Evans (D-York) and Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) on legislation that would prohibit law enforcement officers from cooperating with out-of-state investigations into abortion patients who live in states where the practice is now illegal.

"[M]any states proposing to outlaw abortion are seeking to criminalize individuals who seek abortions — or assist others in seeking abortions — whether they do so in that state or any other," Kinkead said in a press release announcing the bill. "Texas has even proposed legislation that would make abortion punishable by the death penalty. Pennsylvania will not cooperate with these repulsive investigations. In fact, it is our right and our duty to refuse.”

Since the Supreme Court's June 24 ruling, Pennsylvania has witnessed an influx of new abortion patients as the formerly protected procedure has become outlawed in Ohio and West Virginia.

Although abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, a bill to explicitly ban support for it in the state's constitution has initially cleared the legislature. The amendment will ultimately be decided by voters in a statewide referendum if, as required by state law, the bill passes the assembly for a second time next term.

Local governments, including Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh, are also pushing forward with legislation that would protect out-of-state abortion patients.