If the Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe versus Wade becomes law. How would the Pennsylvania Legislature Decide New Rules on abortions? Crispen Havener continues our coverage with where local lawmakers stand.
Yeah. Jess If the ball moves into the state legislatures court, Republican majorities in the House and Senate could allow measures limiting or banning abortions to move forward.
Right now, they’re blocked by Governor Tom Wolf’s veto pen. But there are both short term and long term ways around that.
“What do we do”, with Roe versus Wade appearing to be on the verge of becoming history? It sets up the potential for an historic fight in Harrisburg.
“Abortion is always has been a very difficult issue for our society because you’re putting two very important positions at loggerheads again.” State Senate leader and Republican Governor candidate Jake Corman tells me that while whoever leaked the opinion to Politico should be dealt with,
“Clearly whoever leaked it did it in a way to intimidate the justices before they can make a final ruling, which I hope is thoroughly investigated and that the person is part of the legal profession. I hope they’re disbarred.”
If it does become law, he would support legislation limiting abortions.
“We should protect those most vulnerable among us and clear. The most vulnerable among us are the unborn. We should always write legislation to try to protect our most vulnerable citizens. And if we’re given the opportunity, we will.”
But any efforts right now to get out ahead of the final verdict, like 22 states have done, would be met with resistance by Democrat Governor Tom Wolf’s veto.
Setting up the showdown in November for Wolf’s replacement between Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who has vowed to keep the status quo and whoever wins on the Republican side with all vowing to either severely limit or fully ban them.
“I’m pro-all life. Whether it be babies in the womb or whether they be the mothers. And ultimately, if there is an issue that a mother’s life could be at stake, you know, I think that’s a decision for her family and her God to make. And so certainly I think any legislation should include that.”
There is another way to go about it through state constitutional amendments. Republicans in both the House and Senate, buoyed by successfully curtailing the governor’s emergency orders to a similar measure when voters supported changing the executive branch’s constitutional powers.
Already pushing for amendments that would clarify the current status quo that there is no right to an abortion or abortion funding within Pennsylvania’s constitution.
“I make no apologies. I am very seriously pro-life, and I’m proud to be so and to protect women, protect the unborn.”
The Senate’s efforts is being led by Blair County Senator Judy Ward, who says she would like to see abortion end except in rare circumstances.
I asked her if need be if she would support using a constitutional amendment process to end abortions, except in rare circumstances.
“That’s certainly a possibility”
As the state awaits what the highest court in the land ultimately say.
“I think it’s sort of exciting, but it’s not really the real deal. So we kind of need to wait to follow this through the proper channels.”
We should note, a constitutional amendment would have to pass the legislature in two consecutive sessions before going to voters, meaning the earliest it could be voted on is in 2023.