The Mounting Threat to Women’s Reproductive Rights

Dear Neighbor,

Late last week, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill banning abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy — a woman’s legal, constitutional right — except in cases of medical emergency. Days before, Alabama enacted the most restrictive abortion law in the country, disallowing abortions at any time except in cases of medical emergency. Neither bill allows exceptions for rape or incest.

Similar laws have been proposed in more than a dozen other states as Republican-controlled legislatures ramp up efforts to restrict the rights of women to legally terminate their pregnancies. It is abundantly clear these legislative efforts are part of a national push to roll back Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion — with restrictions — nationwide in 1973.

The majority party in Pennsylvania isn’t sitting out this effort.

Last week, House Bill 321, yet another attempt to chip away at a woman’s legal right to terminate a pregnancy, passed the House and is currently en route to the Senate.

I feel strongly, as I always have, that medical decisions about reproductive health should be made by each individual woman in consultation with those whom she trusts most — including her obstetrician — and not by politicians.

In accordance with this belief, I voted against House Bill 321 on Tuesday. However, I was in the minority, and the bill passed the House along mostly partisan lines. If the bill passes in the Senate, the governor has vowed to veto it.

In Pennsylvania, those of us who believe in a woman’s constitutional right to make her own medical decisions concerning pregnancy have an invaluable ally in our governor. Still, at a time when U.S. rates of abortion have sharply declined, the changing makeup of the Supreme Court has injected fresh energy into the political struggle surrounding abortion, and the fight to overturn Roe v. Wade will continue to rage.

I assure you, I will continue to vote my stance that politics should have no part in one of the most complex decisions a woman will ever make.

To learn more about the status of this legislation or any other in Harrisburg, don’t hesitate to call my office at (215) 572-5210 or email My staff will be happy to answer questions about this or any other state government-related matter.


Steve McCarter
Pennsylvania State Representative
Serving Cheltenham Township, Springfield Township and Jenkintown Borough