An executive order signed by Governor Tom Wolf became the latest round in the fight over abortion rights.
It ensures out-of-state residents can come to Pennsylvania for reproductive health care services.
In a statement, the governor said that he will decline a request from any other state to arrest or detain someone who traveled to Pennsylvania to seek an abortion.
The order also applies to anyone providing or assisting with an abortion.
This comes in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling which overturned Roe V Wade.
Local pro-choice groups in Erie are already taking steps to help those individuals who are traveling to Pennsylvania.
These groups are covering the costs of transportation, overnight stays, and even helping pay for the abortion.
Governor Wolf’s announcement on Tuesday is an important invitation for anyone who is seeking reproductive health services, especially if they are living in a state where abortion is limited or illegal.
Governor Wolf signed an executive order on Tuesday which opened the door for people who are out of state to travel to the commonwealth to get an abortion.
This also keeps those individuals safe from any disciplinary action or prosecution.
In part of a recent statement, Governor Wolf stated that here in Pennsylvania he would not stand for this attack on women and pregnant individuals.
One pro-life group in Erie known as People for Life is against Governor Wolf’s executive order.
“We do not believe that it is okay to kill a baby whether in the womb or out of the womb, and so the fact that Tom Wolf wants to encourage other people with this executive order is unfortunate,” said Karli Van Der Volgen, Board Member, People for Life.
According to the PA General Assembly, under Title 18 in the State of Pennsylvania, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Pro-choice leaders said that this new executive order is a step in the right direction to help women keep their reproductive rights.
“We applaud Governor Wolf for the action taken today. One of the things we have been saying is criminalizing health care is an absolute travesty,” said Molly Brechtel, Organizer for Erie County United.
For those traveling out of state to Pennsylvania to get an abortion, Erie County United said that they have a plan to help those individuals.
“Currently right now we are partnering with two clinics in Pennsylvania in regards to abortion funds, eliminating barriers to care such as transportation costs, or overnight stays,” said Brechtel.
Even though the pro-life supporters are against this executive order, they are not giving up on their case.
They said that there has been a lot of organizations and even churches who have stepped up against abortions.
“I think those people for one those organizations should be what we are moving towards. Instead of still going back to you can have an abortion somewhere else, lets protect the mom and the baby,” said Van Der Volgen.
If you are traveling to Pennsylvania for reproductive health services and want help covering transportation and other costs, check out Erie County United’s Facebook page.
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To read more about the executive order, click here.