Real quick: Costly regulations and smaller populations relative to urban areas have prevented any abortion providers from opening since one in State College closed after a series of scandals, Ashad Hajela reports.
A bit more: Even though abortion is legal in Pennsylvania, Abby Minor, a Penns Valley resident, said she was shocked by how difficult it was to have the procedure done during the summer of 2013.
She called local health providers around Centre County, but none of them were helpful, she said. They didn’t even tell her where she could get one.
An internet search revealed that one of the closest clinics was in Harrisburg. “It felt illegal,” she said. “What other medical thing are you suddenly on your own Googling for?”
Her partner, Kevin Sims, drove with her to Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center. It was scary when they pulled into the parking lot, Minor said. Protesters were yelling profanities and “abortion is murder,” she recalled. Others were praying. Sims said he was struck by the aggression of the protesters.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade left abortion access in the hands of the states. In Pennsylvania, abortion is legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy.
But for people living in north-central Pennsylvania like Minor, it’s at least an hour drive to the closest abortion provider. And the reason lies in the state’s history of abortion restrictions, regulatory laws that make it difficult to financially sustain an abortion clinic in lower-population areas, and a series of troubles that led what was the region’s only provider to close in 2010.
The full story: Read more here.