The Pennsylvania State Legislature passed a proposal to have voters decide whether the Commonwealth’s Constitution should guarantee any rights relating to abortion.
The State House voted 107-92 in concurrence with the State Senate’s 28-22 vote to pass Senate Bill 106, which had five amendments to add to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Commonwealth law dictates that if the General Assembly passes the same legislation in successive sessions, the measure will appear on the next ballot for consideration by voters.
If the General Assembly were to pass the measure in January 2023, the question would be on the May 2023 primary ballot.
The five amendments were:
- Stating that the Constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.
- Allowing a party’s nominee for Governor to make his/her selection for lieutenant governor, rather than have the nominee chosen in the primary;
- Providing that the General Assembly’s disapproval of a regulation would not be required to be presented to the Governor;
- Requiring the General Assembly to provide for auditing of elections; and
- Requiring that voters present valid identification prior to voting.
As of today, Pennsylvania allows abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation, or later if there is a medical emergency that necessitates pregnancy termination. Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto all GOP attempts to change that status quo. But Wolf is term-limited, and in the race to replace him this November, GOP candidate Doug Mastriano has said he supports a total ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or a medical emergency that puts the life of a parent at risk. His opponent, Democrat Josh Shapiro, supports a woman’s right to choose.