Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reiterated his promise Thursday to veto any pro-life legislation that crosses his desk, including a bill to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination.
Surrounded by abortion activists, Wolf blasted two pro-life bills that passed the state House this week, claiming they would interfere “with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians,” Spotlight PA reports.
On Tuesday, the Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 1500) passed the state House with bipartisan support. Sponsored by state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, the bill would prohibit an abortion if the sole reason is because the unborn baby has a Down syndrome diagnosis and create felony charges for abortionists who violate the ban.
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The other bill, the Unborn Child Dignity Act, which passed Wednesday, would require health care clinics and abortion facilities to offer mothers the option of burial or cremation for their miscarried and aborted babies. It also would ensure that abortion facilities do not throw out aborted babies with other medical waste.
Both bills are now awaiting action in the state Senate.
“Whenever an anti-choice bill comes to my desk, I will veto it,” Wolf said Thursday at a press conference with pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers and Planned Parenthood abortion activists. “If these politicians were really pro-life, they would focus on issues that support Pennsylvanians instead of shaming and criminalizing health care decisions.”
But pro-life lawmakers pushed back against Wolf’s claims, saying they are trying to protect unborn Pennsylvanians and their mothers.
Klunk, the lead sponsor of the Down syndrome bill, said she will not stop fighting for life because “every child deserves and has the right to life and children with Down syndrome are no exception.”
In May, state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clinton, the lead sponsor of another pro-life bill to ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, said the governor’s veto threats will not stop her either.
“Whether the governor vetoes this legislation is irrelevant,” she responded, the Times Leader reports. “Ultimately, I am fully accountable to Almighty God, the Author of Life, whose word proclaims that he knew us before we were knitted together in our mother’s womb.”
The Pennsylvania legislature is controlled by pro-life Republicans, and several Democrat state lawmakers are pro-life. However, Wolf repeatedly has vetoed pro-life legislation throughout his time in office.
Wolf has close ties to Planned Parenthood, having once been a volunteer at one of its abortion facilities. The abortion chain spent a record $1.5 million to support his re-election in 2018.
Pennsylvania has term limits for the governor, and Wolf has two years left. If a pro-life governor replaces him and the legislature continues to maintain a solid pro-life majority, the state may have the opportunity to pass laws that protect unborn babies from abortion.
Here’s more from Spotlight PA:
The Cook Political Report currently has the race listed as a toss-up, meaning Pennsylvania’s next governor could potentially be a member of the GOP who would sign abortion restrictions into law.
When asked about the possibility, Wolf said, “My hope is that Pennsylvania continues to have people in Harrisburg … who recognize that politicians have no place in the doctor’s office, making decisions for women.”
Americans support strong protections for unborn babies. A 2019 Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive. Gallup polls also consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal.
This week, a new Gallup poll found that 52 percent of Americans want all or almost all abortions to be illegal, while 45 percent want abortions to be legal in all or most circumstances.