Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf filed a lawsuit Thursday to thwart efforts to prevent state taxpayers from being forced to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
Fox 29 reports the Democrat governor’s lawsuit challenges a proposed state constitutional amendment that would declare there is no right to an abortion or a taxpayer-funded abortion in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
In the lawsuit, Wolf claims the state constitution “explicitly recognizes” the right to an abortion under the personal right to privacy.
“The Republican-led General Assembly continues to take extraordinary steps to dismantle access to abortion and implement a radical agenda,” Wolf said in a statement. “Frustrated that their legislation may face my veto pen again, they instead loaded multiple unrelated constitutional amendments into a joint resolution and rammed the bill through during the budget process.”
The lawsuit asks the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to declare the proposed constitutional amendment invalid.
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Here’s more from the report:
Wolf claims that bundling the abortion amendment together with four others in a bill that passed the General Assembly earlier this month as budget sessions were wrapping up runs afoul of a constitutional rule against passing legislation that addresses multiple, unrelated topics.
… House Republican spokesman Jason Gottesman said Wolf’s lawsuit lacked merit and was an attempt to “subvert the power of the people’s voice in the General Assembly.”
To amend the state constitution, the proposed language must pass the Pennsylvania Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by a majority of voters. The proposed amendment passed the legislature for the first time this summer and, if it passes again in the next session, could be on the ballot for voters to decide in 2023.
Leading state pro-life organizations have expressed an urgent need for the amendment because of a separate lawsuit filed by pro-abortion groups.
Tom Shaheen, president for policy at the Pennsylvania Family Institute, said the state Supreme Court is considering the pro-abortion groups’ lawsuit right now, and the ruling could be disastrous for the unborn and all Pennsylvanians.
“Today, Pennsylvania faces the greatest threat to unborn children and their mothers since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision,” Shaheen said earlier this summer. “To put it bluntly, Pennsylvania is at risk of becoming a state like New York that allows abortions up until birth – and paid for by taxpayers.”
The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, which also supports the amendment, said the court case could force state taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in elective abortions and strike down the state parental consent law, which requires underage girls to have a parent’s permission for an abortion.
It also could get rid of the state ban on late-term abortions and end informed consent requirements, the pro-life organization said.
“We would also lose regular inspections of abortion facilities, meaning that hair and nail salons would face greater scrutiny than abortion centers,” the federation continued.
The proposed constitutional amendment would keep these laws in place and allow state lawmakers to pass other protections for mothers and unborn babies.
In several states, courts have found a so-called “right to abortion” in their state constitutions. The rulings have been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions and restrict the state legislature from passing even minor, common sense abortion restrictions.
In 2018, West Virginia voters passed a similar state constitutional amendment after decades of being forced by a court ruling to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars. Tennessee took similar action in 2014.
And in August, Kansas voters will consider a similar amendment to their state constitution on their ballot. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court found a so-called “right to abortion” in their state constitution, a ruling that jeopardizes laws that protect women and babies.