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Pennsylvania House Committee Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

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Grace Carr Reporter

A Pennsylvania House committee voted Monday to pass a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation, as well as banning dismemberment abortion procedures.

The House Health Committee voted 16 to 10 on the legislation that calls for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, except for when the mother’s life is in danger. The bill — that passed in the state Senate earlier this year — does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities.

The measure prohibits abortion clinicians from performing dilation and evacuation — or “dismemberment” — abortions. Under current law, women in Pennsylvania cannot have abortions after their baby is 24 weeks gestation.

“It’s an issue that you are either going to be voting for or against, whether you are going to be pro-life or pro-abortion,” said GOP Rep. Matt Baker, chairman of the House Health Committee, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The vote “is a sanctity of life issue,” he added.

“I have met with women and medical professionals and understand how devastating and dangerous this bill would be for patients,” Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday, according to the Post-Gazette. The bill is “the most extreme anti-choice legislation in the country,” he added.

“We should be giving doctors the latitude to be able to have a conversation with a woman and her family about what’s in the best interest,” said Democratic state Rep. Ed Gainey, who voted against the legislation. “That should not be legislated by any government.”

The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote. Wolf has vowed to veto the measure if it makes it to his desk.

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