Pennsylvania lawmakers introduce ‘heartbeat’ abortion bills

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced legislation to make abortions illegal as soon as a heartbeat is detected.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Franklin) and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Clinton/Center) said their proposals, Senate Bill 912 and House Bill 1977, would require physicians, before proceeding with abortion, to determine whether the baby has a heartbeat. If the baby has a heartbeat, the abortion could not be performed.

Current Pennsylvania law permits abortions in up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“Scientific and medical advances of the past 50 years have laid to waste the idea that the baby in the womb is simply a blob of tissue,” Mastriano said.  “It’s time for the discussion that includes a scientific and logical dialog on this most important issue of our generation.”

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would immediately veto such a bill if it ever reached his desk.

“This bill defies all medical and practical understanding of modern women’s health care,” Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott said in a statement. “Many women do not even know if they are pregnant at six weeks.”

Ashley Lenker White, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, called the bills “another unconstitutional attempt to ban abortion in Pennsylvania.”

“It’s a waste of taxpayer time and money, and the General Assembly’s time would be better spent focusing on laws that would actually help Pennsylvanians access vital reproductive and health-care services,” Lenker White said in a statement.

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