In 1989, the state of Pennsylvania passed the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act which requires women seeking abortion care to receive specific information from her physician 24 hours prior to having an abortion. The information in this “State Mandated Information Session” was written by legislators, not doctors, and includes some statements that are not accurate about abortion care, and that are written to discourage women from choosing abortion. There are no other medical procedures that are regulated by the state in this manner.
If you would like to have an abortion at Philadelphia Women’s Center, the “State Mandated Information Session” can be provided by telephone or in group information sessions offered every day at the Center. If you choose to visit our center for the session Philadelphia Women’s Center uses this in-person appointment as an opportunity to introduce you to our staff and to give you information about what you can expect on the day of your procedure. This session also gives you the chance to see our office, complete some pre-procedure testing, ask questions and speak with our staff privately.
Pennsylvania requires that patients under 18 must attend this information session with one of her parents or her legal guardian, who must also return on the patient’s procedure day to give consent and complete paperwork. For women who cannot involve a parent, or choose not to, the law allows for a judicial bypass. This means that a judge may decide that the patient is mature enough to complete the process herself, without parental consent. Philadelphia Women’s Center phone advocates are trained to help patients through this process, and can explain the necessary steps that will need to be taken if a minor decides that judicial bypass is her best option. There are no additional fees involved for women who choose to obtain a bypass.