BLOG: Harrisburg Republican anti-choice bill is an attack on women

By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary

April 04, 2016

This weekend, an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outlined the Pennsylvania House Republicans’ efforts to fast-track an anti-choice bill. The legislation was introduced Friday, and they plan to hold a committee vote today.

“A Republican state representative introduced legislation Friday that would tighten abortion restrictions in Pennsylvania, and a committee chairman said he plans to hold a vote on the bill Monday. The bill, which has 100 co-sponsors including some Democrats listed along with prime sponsor Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, would move the state’s ban on abortions after 24 weeks of gestational age up to 20 weeks. It also would place restrictions on the use of an abortion procedure in which the fetus is dismembered and extracted. A spokesman said Gov. Tom Wolf would veto the bill if it reached his desk… The bill was introduced and referred to the House Health Committee on Friday. Committee Chairman Matt Baker, R-Tioga, said in an email that he planned to hold a committee vote Monday. He said he understood that House leadership planned to bring the bill to the floor next week. Opponents say the bill is being rushed through the House.” Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This legislation is an attack on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions, and it goes so far as to prohibit a woman’s right to have an abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. The bill is wrong and Governor Wolf will veto it if it reaches his desk.

Additionally, this bill is unconstitutional because it changes from 24 weeks to 20 weeks the time for an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a state does not have an interest in regulating the unborn prior to 24 weeks so a state cannot regulate abortions prior to 24 weeks. By further restricting the procedure to only the first 20 weeks as this bill does, violates the PA supreme and the US supreme courts holding in Planned Parenthood v. Fitzpatrick, 401 F. Supp 554, affirmed 96 S.CT 3202.

This anti-choice bill underscores that while Harrisburg Republicans have woefully failed to act on any issues the majority of Pennsylvanians care about, they are capable of acting quickly when it comes to limiting a woman’s right to choose.

It is time for Republicans in the General Assembly to stop interfering with a women’s right to make her own health care decisions, and to start showing the political courage to address our budget crisis, increase wages for working families, and reform government so we can fix what is broken with Harrisburg.

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