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State Senate set to vote on abortion bill

David Weissman

In its last scheduled session day of the year, the state Senate plans to vote on a controversial abortion bill Wednesday.


House Bill 1948, which would ban elective abortions about 20 weeks, is marked on the day's calendar as run, which means it is expected to be brought up for vote.

Current state law bans elective abortions after 24 weeks.

The House passed the bill, which would also criminalize procedures after 20 weeks that cause the deaths of fetuses by removing their body parts, in June.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society opposes the bill, and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto the bill if it lands on his desk.

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

Ben Waxman, press secretary for Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, began tweeting about the vote when he saw it on the calendar, pointing out the fact that the vote would come with during a lame-duck session, as some senators have already been voted out of office.

Waxman said his big concern is the bill would place Pennsylvania among the most restrictive states in the nation for women's reproductive health.

Video of the session can be viewed live at www.pasen.gov.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.