Pa. Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

A Pennsylvania Senate judiciary committee passed a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

The bill passed the committee in a 9-5 vote, reports The Philly Mag. All Republicans on the committee voted for it, while all the Democrats voted against it. The bill already passed the House with a 132-65 vote.

HB 1948 would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, unless the woman’s life is in danger or the doctor believes that major bodily harm will come to the woman if an abortion is not performed.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf stated that he would veto the bill should it reach his desk.

“This legislation would be a step backwards for women and for Pennsylvania, Wolf said. I urge the Senate to reject this bill. If this legislation reaches my desk, I will veto it. This is a bad bill for Pennsylvania and we cannot afford to allow it to go forward.”

The bill also restricts abortions performed on married women. A married women can only receive an abortion if she can provide a written statement proving her husband is aware of the procedure. If a married woman proves that her husband is not the father of the child, or she cannot find her husband or she has been a victim of sexual assault, then she can get an abortion.

The bill also bans dismemberment abortions, in which the doctor pulls the unborn baby limb from limb out of the womb using a forceps or scissors.

“In a dismemberment abortion, fully-formed babies are brutally torn apart limb from limb,” Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews.

“In the state that’s leading the way for dramatic, life-preserving surgeries for the smallest lives, we’re going to end the inhumane practice of dismemberment abortions, which tears a living human being to pieces. We can do better than that, and Pennsylvania’s women and girls deserve better,” Representative Kathy Rapp,the bill’s sponsor, said in a video message.

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