Governor Wolf has long been a stalwart supporter of a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. So when the Republican legislature sent him the most restrictive anti-choice bill in the country, he immediately took action to prevent it from becoming law. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
Gov. Wolf on Monday vetoed a measure passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that would have restricted abortion rights, calling it a “vile assault on women’s ability to make their own decisions about their own health care.”
Senate Bill 3 would have banned abortions after twenty weeks and provided no exceptions for rape or incest. It also banned one of the safest methods of second trimester abortions that could be used to save the life of the mother in the case of a tragedy during pregnancy.
The bill was pushed through without input from medical or health experts. It was opposed from the state’s leading medical organizations such as the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They emphasized that women often receive an ultrasound in their 20th week that can detect life-threatening abnormalities and that this restrictive bill puts the doctor-patient relationship in jeopardy.
Governor Wolf was unequivocal in his condemnation of this bill, which not only attempted to take crucial health care decisions out of the hands of women but also threatened the health of the mothers. At a press conference at Philadelphia City Hall on Monday, he declared, “Make no mistake about it. Senate Bill 3 is an attack on women. It’s an attack on their health, their freedom, their choice, their liberties.”
The Governor was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Commissioner Deborah Minkoff of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, Executive Director La’Tasha D. Mayes of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt. The speakers praised the Governor’s decision to veto SB3 and his efforts to protect women’s reproductive rights.
At a time when Republicans in Washington and the State House are launching assault after assault on women’s reproductive rights, Governor Wolf has never been stronger in his commitment to standing up against the Republicans and fighting for the rights of the women of Pennsylvania.