As the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania General Assembly advances a constitutional amendment to preserve its ability to restrict abortion, Governor Tom Wolf (D) is suing to defeat that amendment and taking executive action in favor of the practice.
Keystone State governors typically don’t play a role in the constitutional-amendment process. If both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate pass an amendment in two consecutive sessions, the commonwealth submits the measure as a ballot question for voters to accept or reject at the ballot box. If a majority agrees to it, the amendment becomes law, with or without gubernatorial blessing.
A state constitutional amendment that passed both houses of the state legislature last week stipulates that Pennsylvania recognizes neither a right to abortion nor to public funding of abortion.
The legislation stops short of a ban on either surgical or chemically induced abortions but ensures that lawmakers may enact restrictions uninhibited by courts.
Democrats in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives recently proposed two bills to guarantee abortion rights in the Keystone State in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning.
The first measure, sponsored by Reps. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Exton) and Liz Hanbidge (D-Blue Bell) is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution guaranteeing the right to obtain an abortion, acquire contraceptives or refuse fertility care.
Days after several Pennsylvania Senate Democrats proposed legislation to codify the recently overturned Roe v. Wade decision, one senator is spearheading a more expansive measure to enshrine abortion and various sexual rights in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
State Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Doylestown) issued a memorandum to colleagues on Tuesday asking them to cosponsor his amendment. It would codify not only the 1973 Roe ruling that forbade states from prohibiting abortion but also the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision disallowing bans on gay marriage. Other “privacy”-related rights Santarsiero wishes to write into the state Constitution include those identified in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling, which disallowed contraception bans, and in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which barred sodomy laws.
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats proposed codifying abortion rights by state statute.
Sen. Katie Muth (D-Royersford) circulated a memorandum asking Senate colleagues to cosponsor the legislation that would keep the practice legal in Pennsylvania. So far, Sens. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Norristown), Lindsey Williams (D-Pittsburgh), Maria Collett (D-North Wales), Judith Schwank (D-Reading), Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) and Carolyn Comitta (D-West Chester) have signed onto the measure.
The Star News Network was once again at the Supreme Court with special correspondent Joanna Miller Wednesday, where crowds gathered to learn if the 1970s-era ‘right to abortion’ would be overturned with the highly anticipated Dobbs v Jackson opinion.
The Star News Network was on scene at the Supreme Court Monday as activists from the left and the right gathered to learn if the justices would publish their decision on Dobbs vs Jackson, which would effectively overturn Roe vs Wade and send the question of abortion limits back to the states.
Two polls released this week have found most American voters want limits on abortion.
Results of a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States poll released Wednesday found 57.6 percent of American voters want abortion to be legal in only specific circumstances, while a Rasmussen Reports survey published Tuesday showed 67 percent of likely U.S. voters say abortion should not be legal past the first three months of pregnancy.
A new ad produced by the pro-life group Live Action mocks men who support abortion rights, pointing out that males benefit from abortion by avoiding responsibility and commitment.
Four men in the video explain why they are pro-choice, with reasons including disgust for women’s bodies, fear of women’s sexuality and the ability of males to avoid financial responsibility for any children they bear.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that abortion providers in Texas will continue to be allowed to challenge the state’s restrictive abortion law but decided to not stop the law from being enforced.
The opinion, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, emphasizes that the question of whether the Texas law is constitutional is not the one before the court. The ruling allows lawsuits by the clinics to go forward in lower courts, while leaving the law in place for now.
Eight of the nine justices said the abortion providers may continue bringing legal challenges, and Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on behalf of himself and the court’s three Democrat-appointed justices, encouraged the district judge should act quickly.
On Friday, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed five bills restricting abortion that were passed by the Republican-majority state legislature.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that’s a promise,” Evers tweeted.
He said he firmly opposed all five bills, which would have restricted abortion by allowing third parties to pursue damage claims in cases of unwanted abortions and requiring more stringent reporting requirements on patients and providers, according to The Hill.
One of the bills, the Shield the Vulnerable Act, would have banned abortions performed on the basis of race, sex, or disability diagnosis of the unborn baby. It would have also allowed third parties such as a spouse, partner, or family member of a woman to bring damages to court if they did not want her to have the abortion, the news outlet reported.
I woke up Wednesday morning so grateful that my state, Virginia, had voted out abortion extremism. Abortion activists were supposed to sweep Terry McAuliffe back to the governor’s mansion. McAuliffe spent millions of dollars on ads blasting Glenn Youngkin for being pro-life and brought in outside speakers, including former President Obama, to campaign on the issue of abortion. Instead of keeping Virginia blue, these efforts may have propelled Youngkin to victory. The 5% of voters who said abortion was their top issue in the 2021 election backed Youngkin by a 12-percentage-point margin.
Some policy analysts seem shocked by how abortion radicalism blew up in McAuliffe’s face, but they shouldn’t be. More than three quarters of the American people support significant restrictions on abortion and are making their voices heard at the polls. Instead of listening to them, McAuliffe pandered to an extreme base that makes up a tiny portion of the electorate.
Protecting the most vulnerable is a winning issue, it should be a bipartisan issue, and Youngkin’s success paves the way for a wave of pro-life candidates in 2022 to win in purple and blue states by calling out the extreme pro-abortion views of their opponents.
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on the constitutionality of Texas’ Heartbeat Act.
The Texas law effectively bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which typically occurs around 6 weeks after conception. The law is enforced through civil lawsuits against individuals who perform abortions illegally or who knowingly help women to get abortions after the baby has a heartbeat.
The private enforcement mechanism was a response to district attorneys stating their intent to not enforce any abortion bans, according to Republican Texas state Sen. Brian Hughes. While abortion bans are frequently blocked in court, Texas’ Heartbeat Act quickly resulted in a 50% decline in abortions performed in the state, according to The New York Times.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh questioned Texas about the prospect of other states creating laws with similar enforcement mechanisms to block constitutionally protected rights such as freedom of religion.