PA Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf: Women ‘Must Be Able’ to Abort Babies with Down Syndrome

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media and after receiving the Service Employees International Union's endorsement Friday, June 6, 2014, in Philadelphia. Wolf is challenging Republican incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett in Nov. 4th general election. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP/Matt Rourke

Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed legislation Thursday that would have prohibited abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

“There is no evidence that this bill is needed in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in his veto message, and added:

This legislation is a restriction on women and medical professionals and interferes with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians. Physicians and their patients must be able to make choices about medical procedures based on best practices and standards of care. The prohibitions under this bill are not consistent with the fundamental rights vested by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Wolf continued he was not aware of disability rights groups that support the bill, though elected representatives in both chambers of the state legislature passed it.

In an earlier message in which he indicated he would be vetoing the bill, Wolf criticized the pro-life community stating, “This bill masks yet another attempt to ban abortions and put politicians between a woman and her doctor.”

“[T]his is a particularly cynical way to impugn women seeking constitutionally protected health care options,” the governor added.

In December 2017, Wolf also vetoed a measure that would have banned dismemberment abortion — also known as dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E) — which is generally performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. During this procedure, the unborn baby’s limbs are torn off its body prior to removing him or her from the mother’s uterus. Wolf said the ban was “extreme” and “restrictive” for women.

Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest abortion business —announced in June 2018 it would be spending $1.5 million to ensure Wolf was re-elected last November.

 

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