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March 21, 2019In The News

Statement on Restricting Abortions Based on Disability

Statement: Restricting Abortions Based on Disability

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Disability Rights Pennsylvania’s mission is to protect and advocate for persons with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination and segregation.

While we are concerned about the idea of terminating pregnancy based on any disability, we understand why a family might make that decision with the continued lack of access and a waiting list to community-based services.

We call upon policymakers to fully fund community-based services and supports so that this decision does not seem as daunting for potential parents of children with down syndrome.

The Commonwealth has made investments in community-based services but there is much more work to be done.  The role of government is to support the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.  This includes increasing supports and services, so individuals can choose to live in the community, remain independent, and have access to the health and mental health care they need.  The Commonwealth has a long way to go to support the full range of supports and services individuals with disabilities and families need like early intervention, special education, transition, community-based services, accessible and affordable housing, transportation, and so much more.

Another aspect to this discussion is that statistics show that women with disabilities have experienced and are at a higher risk of sexual assault than women without disabilities.  It is important that individual decision making and access to supports and services that deal with the aftermath and trauma always remain available.

Disability Rights Pennsylvania will continue to advocate for increasing access to service for people with disabilities.


Contact: Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer

Disability Rights Pennsylvania

Phone: (800) 692-7443 x 302