Tracking the Debate: The PA House’s 20-Week Abortion Ban

PA House ChamberAfter more than three hours of intense debate on the floor, the PA House of Representatives approved a bill on Tuesday to outlaw elective abortions after 20 weeks.

HB 1948 is a “pro-life bill” that seeks to update the state’s abortion laws to reflect major medical science and technology advances that have made life viable earlier in the gestation period, the bill’s prime sponsor Rep. Kathy Rapp said.

Under the bill, a woman can elect to have an abortion until 20 weeks gestation, as opposed to 24 weeks under current state law. Abortions may only be performed after 20 weeks in cases where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger or a doctor believes the pregnancy will cause “irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.”

Except in medical emergencies, the doctor performing the abortion must first certify in writing that the procedure is necessary, before receiving written confirmation from a second physician that it is necessary.

As required by HB 1948, the procedure must be performed in a hospital, and the physician must “terminate the pregnancy in a manner which provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.”

A second physician must be present during the procedure to “provide immediate medical care for the child, taking all reasonable steps necessary to preserve the child’s life and health.”

Any physician who performs an abortion after 20 weeks gestation will have committed a third-degree felony under the bill. Performing a “dismemberment abortion” – known medically as dilation and evacuation – at any point in the pregnancy will also result in a third-degree felony charge. Violating any of the procedural requirements will result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge.

The pregnant woman, and all nurses, technicians, pharmacists and secretaries who act under the direction of the physician, will not be held liable for having a “dismemberment abortion” performed.

Opponents of the bill argued that it would force women to make their decision before having many of the prenatal tests run by doctors after the 20-week mark, including some that detect fetal abnormalities and birth defects.

Rep. Matt Bradford “thanked” Rep. Rapp for taking the “cloak” off of the anti-abortion movement in PA by proudly proclaiming her bill a “pro-life” piece of legislation.

“What they’ve not done [before] is admit what they’ve always been about, which is a slow march to undermining the right to a legal abortion for every woman in Pennsylvania,” Bradford said. “Today that march continues, and we do it without the cloak, without the gamesmanship, without hiding behind tragedies or some false sense of women’s health.”

After calling HB 1948 “blatantly unconstitutional,” Rep. Dan Frankel motioned for the chamber to debate its legal merits. Various PA abortion laws enacted over the last three decades have been ruled unconstitutional by federal judges almost a dozen times, Frankel said.

Citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992, as well as the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, members on both sides argued existing case law and precedent on state-regulated abortions.

An hour later, the constitutionality of the bill was upheld 140-58, a pre-cursor to the chamber’s final vote on the bill, which passed 132-65.

HB 1948 will now move to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. If approved by the Senate, Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto the bill.

June 22nd, 2016 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Tracking the Debate: The PA House’s 20-Week Abortion Ban”

  1. maha says:

    تحميل برامج مجانية جديدة، دليلك لمشاهدة وتحميل جميع البرامج المجانية الجديدة المتاحة للكمبيوتر والاندرويد، وكذلك تحميل أحدث تطبيقات وبرامج الويندوز مجانا.

    تحميل برنامج فيس بوك لايت مجانا
    تحميل فيس بوك لايت حصريا
    تحميل برامج كمبيوتر
    تحميل برامج كمبيوتر مجانية
    تحميل برامج كمبيوتر وبرامج اندرويد
    تحميل برنامج ميراندا للشات للكمبيوتر
    تحميل برنامج سكاي بي للكمبيوتر
    تحميل برنامج بروج دي في بي للكمبيوتر
    تحميل برنامج DU Meter لقياس سرعة الإنترنت مجاناً
    تحميل برنامج اول بلاير ALLPlayer للكمبيوتر مجاناً
    تحميل برنامج Bandicam
    تحميل برنامج SMPlayer 2017
    تحميل برنامج Andy Android Emulator
    تحميل برنامج ياهو ماسنجر
    تحميل برنامج قل هاى للأندرويد للدردشة
    تحميل برنامج KakaoTalk مجاني للأندرويد
    تحميل برنامج سكايب للأندرويد مجاناً
    تحميل برنامج Kik للأندرويد
    تحميل برنامج تيليجرام للاندرويد
    تحميل برنامج تشغيل الافلام والصوتيات مجانا VLC Media Player
    تحميل برنامج الوافي الذهبي للترجمة مجانا Golden Alwafi
    تحميل متصفح موزيلا فايرفوكس
    تحميل برنامج تعديل الصور فوتوسكيب PhotoScape للكمبيوتر
    تحميل متصفح اوبرا
    برنامج حجب المواقع الاباحية مجانا Free Anti-Porn
    تحميل برنامج لاين مجانا
    تحميل برنامج تسجيل الصوت على الكمبيوتر AD Sound Recorder
    تحميل برنامج ادوبي ريدر
    تحميل برنامج سكايب
    تنزيل برنامج استعادة الملفات المحذوفة
    تنزيل فيس بوك مجانا
    تحميل برنامج انترنت دونلود مانجر
    تحميل برنامج فلاش بلاير
    تحميل برنامج مايكروسوفت اوفيس
    تحميل برنامج الياهو ماسنجر
    تحميل برنامج AIMP 2016
    تحميل برنامج كيو كيو بلاير
    تحميل برنامج وينرار
    تحميل اسطوانة التعريفات DriverPack Solution
    تحميل برنامج في شير vShare
    تحميل برنامج سناجيت
    تحميل برنامج بلوستاك للكمبيوتر
    تحميل متصفح اوبرا
    تحميل برنامج باور كلينر

  2. Deanna Weiss says:

    Kathy Rapp stood in the House and LIED. She could not answer interrogation questions. The State of PA, the birthplace of your democracy, is basically a THEOCRACY.
    That means that religion rules over the state (Explanation provided for Daryl Metcalfe supporters)

  3. Barricks Einwohner says:

    Could we please have a budget, first?

  4. Jared says:

    So all you pro lifers out there, you are against the death penalty too right?

  5. contactsport says:

    So many of these same lawmakers claim not to be scientists when it comes to passing laws related to climate change. I wonder when they went to medical school to become doctors?
    Frankel is correct that this bill is unconstitutional, but it will not get that far, since we fortunately have a pro-choice, emphasize choice, Governor.

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