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.
“We’re here about preserving and protecting the human potential in each one of these unique people that deserve a chance for life,” Mastriano said.
“If there’s no heartbeat, 99.9 percent of the time that person’s declared dead on the spot,” he said. “The heartbeat marks the end of life. Therefore, it should mark the beginning of life.”
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.
Legislatures in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have all passed heartbeat abortion bills in recent years, but none have taken effect. Some were blocked by courts and legal challenges are pending in others.