Bills to restrict abortion, expand gun rights start in House

Bills to restrict abortion, expand gun rights start in House

FILE- In this Jan. 15, 2019, file photo an America flag flies at the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans who control Pennsylvania’s Legislature began Tuesday to advance hot-button bills to restrict abortion rights and expand gun rights, although the bills faced opposition by Democratic lawmakers and certain veto by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Since he took office in 2015, Wolf has battled the Legislature’s Republican majorities over guns and abortion, vetoing a number of bills on the topics, including two firearms bills as recently as last fall . On two pieces of abortion legislation that passed the House Health Committee on Tuesday, Wolf vowed a veto and reiterated his support for abortion rights. “While members of the Legislature continue to play politics around health choices, I will not let the commonwealth go backwards on reproductive rights or access to health care,” Wolf said in a statement. “I will veto any anti-choice legislation that lands on my desk.” The bills passed on a party-line basis. One would outlaw abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, possibly as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. It was the first time such a bill has emerged from a committee in Pennsylvania’s Legislature. It carries an exception for when an abortion is medically necessary to protect the mother. The bill is similar to laws in more than a dozen other states, although federal courts have mostly blocked […]

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