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July 11, 2016

Pennsylvania bill to limit abortions pushes forward; Gov. Wolf threatens to veto

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee has taken another step to send a bill that would impose stricter limits on abortions, despite Governor Tom Wolf's intentions to veto it.

House Bill 1948 would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of medical emergencies.

The state House of Representatives passed the bill in June by a vote of 132-65.

The current law bans abortions after the first 24 weeks.

The bill would also limit access to a procedure it refers to as "dismemberment abortions." The method is the safest technique for the mother in the first trimester, reports.

State Rep. Kathy Rapp, who introduced the legislation, opposes the procedure, citing advances in science, medical technology, and healthcare.

"Final passage of this bill will bring Pennsylvania law in line with the latest medical advances in health safety for women, the viability of the child in the womb, and his or her ability to feel pain," Rapp said when the House passed the bill.

However, Wolf has repeatedly declared that he would veto the bill if it reached his desk since it had been introduced.

“This legislation would be a step backward for women and for Pennsylvania,” Wolf said Monday. “I urge the Senate to reject this bill. If this legislation reaches my desk, I will veto it. This is a bad bill for Pennsylvania and we cannot afford to allow it to go forward.”

According to The Associated Press, the bill will now head to the Senate floor. If approved, the bill would be sent to Wolf's desk.