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Pennsylvania Senate passes constitutional amendment on abortion, House approves

WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg logo WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg 7/9/2022
pa state capitol © WGAL pa state capitol

The Pennsylvania Senate on Friday approved a proposal to add language to the Pennsylvania Constitution stating explicitly that the document does not guarantee any rights relating to abortion or public funding of abortions.

The legislation now goes to the House for a vote.

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UPDATE: After hours of debate, the House passed the approval.

It will now await potential consideration during the next legislative session.

If passed again by the General Assembly, the amendment would be presented to voters for final approval.

Opponents rally

Opponents of the proposal rallied outside the State Capitol.

They said that even though the amendment would not ban abortion, they fear it could lead to further restrictions.


Video: PA Senate abortion rights (WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg)

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Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to circumvent Gov. Tom Wolf's veto pen, which has doomed other efforts to restrict abortions.

"They talk about wanting to respect the rights of the public, but I think in some respects, they are attempting to circumvent the process. The public pays a lot more attention to the election of governor, the election of U.S. senators, those elections than they do these ballot initiatives," Sen. Sharif Street (D-3) said.

Republicans have argued they're protecting the rights of the unborn. They also believe voters should have the final say, not the governor.

"This is just us, giving the people of Pennsylvania the ability to put their voice into what our laws in Pennsylvania are," Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward said.

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