20-week abortion ban near last Pa. Legislature vote

Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania Senate panel is giving its swift approval to new restrictions on elective abortions, amid a veto threat from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, joins Gov. Tom Wolf; Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and legislators to discuss the repercussions of House Bill 1948 on Monday April 11, 2016. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

The Judiciary Committee’s party-line vote Monday sets up a potential Senate floor vote to send the bill to Wolf’s desk. The House passed the bill last month.

The bill would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks, compared to 24 weeks in current law. It also would criminalize procedures after 20 weeks that cause the deaths of fetuses by removing their body parts.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society opposes the bill. The doctors’ group says it interferes with the relationship between physicians and patients, and sets a dangerous precedent by legislating specific treatment protocols.

Hearings weren’t held on the bill. Wolf calls it a step back for the state and for women.