Pennsylvania governor says he will veto any abortion ban bill that lands on his desk

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf had a strong reaction to recent bills that would almost entirely ban abortion in several states across the country. In a video posted on Twitter, Wolf condemned proposals that "seek to put a politician in between a woman and her doctor."

"I just want you to know, that if a such bill were to ever come to my desk, I would veto it," Wolf said in the video. In the caption to the video, Wolf said he was "appalled by legislation in Alabama, Georgia, and even here in Pennsylvania that limits a woman's right to choose."

I’m appalled by legislation in Alabama, Georgia, and even here in Pennsylvania that limits a woman’s right to choose.

I’ll veto any anti-choice bill that lands on my desk. I won’t let our commonwealth go backward on reproductive rights. pic.twitter.com/CJ8Fs6krSo

— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) May 16, 2019

"I'll veto any anti-choice bill that lands on my desk. I won't let our commonwealth go backward on reproductive rights," Wolf, a Democrat, wrote.

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A bill that would outlaw abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome was recently passed in the Pennsylvania House, CBS Pittsburgh reports. A similar bill died in the state Senate last year. Wolf also vetoed a 2017 bill that would have criminalized abortion after 20 weeks.

Wolf's stance was the opposite of that taken by Republican governors in a handful of states who have signed, or promised to sign, abortion bans into law.

So-called "heartbeat bills," like those signed recently in Ohio and Georgia, would ban abortion after about six weeks. On Wednesday, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging the Ohio law.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill Wednesday that would impose criminal penalties on doctors who performed abortions, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. And Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said he'll sign legislation working its way through the Republican-led state legislature that would ban abortions after eight weeks, with exceptions for medical emergencies but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Supporters of the bans — which are facing court challenges and are not yet in effect in any state — hope the Supreme Court will eventually uphold them and overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

First published on May 17, 2019 / 11:44 AM

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