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Gov. Wolf, ACLU respond to PA House bill limiting abortions to first 20 weeks

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania House passed a bill Tuesday that would limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Members of the House voted 121 to 70 for the measure.

The legislation would keep in place exceptions under current law for when a mother’s life is at risk, or if she could suffer a serious, permanent injury without an abortion, the Associated Press reports.

There are no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities, the Associated Press adds.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued this statement:

“Senate Bill 3 is an assault on the doctor-patient relationship by politicians without medical or health expertise. Women, not politicians in Harrisburg, should be making their own health decisions in consultation with their doctors and families.

“I have met with women and doctors, and learned about how this bill violates a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Unbelievably, this cruel legislation provides no exception for rape or incest. It punishes women who learn from their doctors that they are at risk if they give birth after their 20 week ultrasound.

“This bill criminalizes a medical procedure that doctors use to protect the life of the mother when tragedy strikes during a pregnancy. These women deserve our support, not to be maligned by politicians in Harrisburg for making medical decisions about their bodies for their families with their doctors. I will veto this bill because I stand with every woman in Pennsylvania who deserves to make her own health decisions.”

Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, released this statement:

“Federal courts have ruled repeatedly that the government cannot place an undue burden on women’s access to abortion. Clearly, this bill does exactly that. And that is certainly the motivation of the bill’s supporters. They will not be satisfied until women have no legal access to abortion.

“We are grateful for Governor Wolf’s vow to veto this hurtful bill. We will do everything we can to ensure that this legislation is never implemented.”