Local leaders discuss future of reproductive rights in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — The doors are busting at the few reproductive and abortion clinics in our area.

“We actually received 500 phone calls the day after Dobbs fell just with people desperate to get an appointment,” said Dr. Amy Collins with Allegheny Reproductive Health Center.

A huge flux of changes took place across the country with some states as close as Ohio banning abortions. With nowhere to turn, many patients and providers looked to Pennsylvania, a state that’s still holding on to its reproductive rights.

“Those rights are still at stake, and we are trying to push back. This is healthcare we ought to have safe, really available healthcare to defend their freedom,” said Congressman Chris Deluzio.

While a year has passed since that pivotal Supreme Court decision, Deluzio still said every day is a battle as states continue to make changes to local laws.

“We want to make sure that not only are we focusing on making sure abortion is protected and legal here, but we are able to move proactive policies to ensure access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, sexual education is just available to people,” said Sydney Etheredge, the CEO of Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood.

That’s why these players came together to host a panel in the North Hills on Tuesday. With an upcoming election and changes happening in Ohio with an amendment to protect reproductive rights on the ballot, they don’t want this conversation to stop.

“What we are seeing with the overturning of Roe v. Wade is that every election — local, state and federal — is a referendum on whether we are going to protect abortion rights. What I think we will see in Ohio is what we’ve seen across the country, that this is a fundamental part of liberty, and we need to protect it,” said Rep. Arvind Venkat.

Channel 11 did reach out to the House GOP for comment on the panel, but did not hear back.

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