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Has the end of Roe affected Pa. abortion access?

Plus, Gov. Shapiro's 'get s--- done' philosophy.

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Friday, January 26, 2024
Today: Post-Roe policy, election orders, teacher disclosures, Texas standoff, statehood holdouts, and Pa.'s James Beard Award semifinalists.
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Abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has vowed to keep it that way. 

Advocates citing waiting periods, parental consent rules, and funding gaps say access still isn’t as easy as it should be, and attempts to restrict the procedure aren’t over. Less than two years ago, GOP lawmakers attempted to enshrine language in the state constitution saying there is no right to an abortion here, and many members who supported that push are still in office.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court could also rule on a challenge of the law that mostly keeps the procedure from being covered by Medicaid here.

With new federal abortion protections stalled post-Roe, and decisions about access in states’ hands, here’s a primer on Pennsylvania's policies.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: What’s the status of abortion access in Pennsylvania more than a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned?


“When I first heard it, I thought it was unseemly for a governor, but I guess I’m getting used to it. I still cringe.”

State Rep. Russ Diamond (R., Lebanon) on Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s ‘get sh*t done’ motto; Shapiro talked more about it here
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Reader Cathy W.'s dog, Ava, enjoying the snow in Ebensburg. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on IG, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

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Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.FEDERAL SUIT: The Pennsylvania House's hardline conservative Freedom Caucus is suing Gov. Shapiro and President Joe Biden over voter registration orders they say illegally usurp legislative power, per PennLive. The suit calls Shapiro’s automatic voter registration policy an "abusive and capricious exercise" of executive authority.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.TEACHER MISCONDUCT: A federal judge says a Pennsylvania law that makes it a crime to release information about teacher misconduct complaints is unconstitutional, AP reports. The judge ruled in favor of a school board member who wanted to publicize a misconduct allegation against a school psychologist, but the law is still standing.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.BORDER BACKING: State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R., Clinton) wants the Pennsylvania House to "recognize Texas’ constitutional authority to defend its border" amid a standoff between Texas’ Republican governor and the feds. GOP officials in other states have pledged support as critics deride Gov. Greg Abbott's "border theatrics."
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.'NO' VOTES: John Fetterman (D., Pa.) was one of just two Democratic U.S. senators (out of 51 caucus members) to vote no on a measure endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state, Axios reports. Fetterman’s office said he supports a two-state solution but wanted the resolution to make the end of Hamas "a precondition to peace."
Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.PAROLE VIOLATION: A Lancaster County GOP congressional candidate is back in jail after violating the conditions of his parole, LNP (paywall) reports. Joshua Hall, 24, previously served time for threatening to kill a California congressman. He filed as a candidate with the FEC weeks ago and will remain behind bars until at least Feb. 5.
🤔 PA NEWS QUIZ: Think you know what's happening in Pennsylvania? Prove it with the latest Great PA News Quiz: Trump travel, 'monopoly power,' a rare ethics complaint, and Punxsutawney PETA.

DIFFERENCE MAKERS: A civics group says more than 70,000 young people turn 18 every year in Pennsylvania's most populous counties, yet less than 19,000 18-year-olds in the areas are currently registered to vote. Proposed state legislation would allow preregistration at 16.

ANTI-HATE STATE: The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is launching a Civil Rights Division to enforce anti-discrimination laws and promote anti-racism statewide, PennLive reports.

GOOD DEED DONE: A Delaware County man has found the SEPTA conductor, captured on a doorbell camera, who drove all the way from Doylestown to Radnor to return the wallet he lost on New Year's Eve.

VOLCA-NO PLANS: A Pittsburgh restaurant's dream of having a volcano as part of its tiki theme was halted after the Historic Review Commission said it did not fit the neighborhood's guidelines, per NEXTpittsburgh.

FOOD OSCARS: The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its highly coveted best restaurant and chef awards this week, and three Pittsburgh chefs and 10 Philly restaurants made the list.

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