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By James Roxbury
Saturday February 04, 2017 at 11:39 am

Updated Monday 6:15pm.

Senate Judiciary committee meeting 12:30pm.

To consider Senate Bill 3

Bill voted out of committee along party lines.


Posted: December 22, 2016 02:54 PM

From: Senator Michele Brooks

To: All Senate members

Subject: Pain-Capable/Dismemberment Legislation

Due to the significant advances in medicine and evidence, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Abortion Control Act to reduce the maximum gestational age for legal abortions from 24 to 20 weeks. As in current law, this limitation would not apply in situations where an abortion is necessary to prevent the death or impairment of a major bodily function of a woman. In addition, this legislation would prohibit the practice of tearing a fetus apart by its limbs, also called dismemberment abortion.

Research indicates that an unborn child at 20 weeks or less of gestational development likely has a zero percent chance of survival. However, due to significant scientific advances in medicine, a baby’s viability increases 40 to 70 percent at 24 weeks. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, overall survival rates for premature babies between 22 and 24 weeks increased to 79 percent in 2012, up from 70 percent in 1993. Additionally, about 1/3 of premature babies, born at 23 weeks, will survive.

This legislation also helps protect the health and well-being of a pregnant female. Although death rarely results, after the first trimester, a woman’s risk of death as a result of complications from the procedure increase dramatically. A woman is 35 times more likely to die at 20 weeks and 91 times more likely after 21 weeks, than if the procedure was performed in the first trimester. Additionally, the risk of death increases exponentially by 38% for each additional week of gestation.

By 20 weeks, babies have developed all of the physical structures necessary to experience pain, and studies have shown that they react to painful stimuli. During fetal surgery, an unborn baby who is administered anesthesia has a decrease in stress hormones compared to when painful stimuli is applied without anesthesia.

In light of medical advancements, over the past several years, 15 states have now begun to reduce the maximum gestational age for legal abortions from 24 to 20 weeks. These states include, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Governor John Kasich of Ohio just recently signed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks in that state.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this piece of legislation.


Archive Published June 21, 2016.

Pa House passes HB 1948 135-65 Tuesday evening.


Statement from Speaker Mike Turzai

Speaker Applauds House Vote to Protect Babies, Mothers HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) issued the following statement today in response to the Pennsylvania House advancing House Bill 1948 to the Senate for consideration. The bill would lower the risk to mothers and babies by limiting abortions to cases of medical necessity after 20 weeks of pregnancy, instead of the current 24-week ceiling, and ending the practice of dismemberment abortions. “Moving House Bill 1948 to the Senate sends a clear signal that there is bipartisan support to protect unborn children and mothers and shows the Commonwealth’s commitment to promoting a culture of life,” said Turzai. House Bill 1948 passed with a vote of 132-65.


June 21 2:53pm.

Statement from the Governor's Press Office.

Governor Wolf Will Veto HB 1948 Harrisburg, PA – The governor’s position on HB 1948 remains the same – he will veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. Below are Governor Wolf’s remarks paraphrased from a press conference with advocates earlier this year: “This legislation would be a step backwards for women and for Pennsylvania. If it passes the house, I urge the Senate to reject it. 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.”


Archive video April 4, 2016.

Pa House Health Committee meeting.

PDF HB 1948.

A description of HB 1948.

A 13-13 tie, vote to postpone fails.

Rep. Kathy Rapp final vote 16-10.

Rep. Kathy Rapp. Public Pro-Life caucus meetings.

Photo file.

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