Legislator Challenges Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to Public Debate Before He Vetoes Ban on Dismemberment Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 14, 2017   |   12:22PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

A pro-life female lawmaker is not giving up her fight to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions in Pennsylvania, despite the pro-abortion male governor’s vow to veto her legislation.

State Sen. Michele Brooks’ Senate Bill 3 passed the state legislature Tuesday with bipartisan support. The legislation would prohibit brutal dismemberment abortions that tear nearly fully-formed unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are beating and ban abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain.

Gov. Tom Wolf, who has close ties to the abortion industry, said he will veto the measure.

But Brooks has not given up hope. PennLive reports she asked Wolf to debate the bill in a public forum before making a final decision.

“I think it’s an important process to have a good public discussion on the merits of the legislation,” Brooks said.

She wrote a letter to the pro-abortion governor on Wednesday explaining that abortion activists have been circulating misinformation about the bill, and asking for the opportunity to discuss her legislation with him.

Here’s more from the report:

As an example, Brooks noted the bill does not change current language regarding victims of rape or incest, or criminal exposure for doctors or other health care providers.

All that underlying language would only apply now at 20 weeks, instead of 24. Abortions needed to save the life of a mother could still occur at anytime.

“I think facts matter in this discussion, and it’s not a discussion on taking women’s rights away,” Brooks said.

According to the local news, the governor’s press secretary J.J. Abbott was irked by the very suggestion. Abbott claimed that Wolf has researched the legislation (the pro-abortion governor has made numerous visits to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the past few months), and then blamed Brooks for not encouraging public hearings on the legislation.

Some of the strongest advocates of the bill were female lawmakers. State Rep. Kathy Rapp was another.

During a heated debate Tuesday on the House floor, state Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-York, urged her fellow lawmakers to consider the rights of unborn babies as well as their mothers, the AP reports.

“As people try to frame this debate in terms of women’s rights, the question that begs to be asked is, what about the rights of those pre-born women in the womb being exterminated?” Keefer said.

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Another pro-life female lawmaker, state Rep. Judy Ward, asked lawmakers to consider that babies are surviving outside the womb before 24 weeks of pregnancy, the current abortion limit in Pennsylvania.

“If you have any conscience, the only vote you can make is a yes vote,” Ward said, according to NPR Pittsburgh.

And pro-life advocates in Pennsylvania said they have been hearing from women across the state who want the protections in Senate Bill 3 to become law.

“Women throughout the Commonwealth have been asking me when brutal dismemberment abortions will finally end in Pennsylvania,” Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews. “We are thankful that both the Pennsylvania House and the Senate have heard the voices of those women.”

Wolf has described the legislation as cruel and extreme. However, the legislation would make Pennsylvania abortion laws closer to those in the rest of the world. The United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, a fact confirmed by the Washington Post fact checker

A handful of states also have passed dismemberment abortion bans, which are the brainchild of the National Right to Life Committee.

The bill also is modeled, in part, after the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which 16 states have passed into law. The legislation prohibits later-term abortions after 20 weeks as medical advancements push the line of viability earlier in pregnancy and as substantial medical evidence indicates unborn babies at this stage are capable of experiencing pain.

ACTION: Contact Gov. Tom Wolf here.