Pro-abortion Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill Monday that would have protected nearly fully-formed unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
State Sen. Michele Brooks’ Senate Bill 3 passed the state legislature last week with strong, bipartisan support. It 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.
Wolf, who has close ties to the abortion industry, vetoed the legislation Monday in Philadelphia, surrounded by abortion activists from Planned Parenthood and local elected officials, including Mayor Jim Kenney, Fox 43 reports.
“This is a sad day for women and children in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “No living child should have to endure being ripped limb by limb from a mother’s womb, and no mother should have to endure the emotional pain of losing a child in such a brutal manner.”
Wolf repeatedly said he would veto the legislation, and he made several visits to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities throughout the state in recent months.
“This legislation is a disingenuous and bald-faced attempt to create the most extreme anti-choice legislation in the country,” Wolf said in a statement Monday. “This legislation is an attempt to criminalize the decisions that women make about their own health care, and this legislation destroys health care options for victims of the horrors of rape and incest.”
Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, countered that current Pennsylvania abortion laws are the true extreme. He said the United States is one of only seven nations that permits elective abortions past 20 weeks — a fact confirmed by the Washington Post fact checker.
“Pennsylvania is better than that,” Geer said. “And yet, we have a governor who proudly celebrates the work of an abortion industry that relentlessly resists any and all humane efforts to protect unborn children — even those seconds and inches away from birth.”
Though the bill received strong, bipartisan support, the state legislature appears to be just short of enough votes to override Wolf’s veto, according to Fox News.
Some of the strongest advocates of the bill were female lawmakers, including sponsor state Sen. Michele Brooks, state Rep. Dawn Keefer, and state Rep. Kathy Rapp.
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 previously. “We are thankful that both the Pennsylvania House and the Senate have heard the voices of those women.”
Gallagher said about 1,550 babies are killed in Pennsylvania every year in dismemberment abortions. State Department of Health reports indicate that nearly 400 unborn babies are aborted past 20 weeks annually.
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 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.