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Governor Tom Wolf spoke in front of a group of advocates and legislators regarding the widely proposed "Heartbeat Bills." Source: Commonwealth Media Services

Joined by legislators, advocates, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at a Women's Reproductive Rights Rally, Governor Tom Wolf vowed to veto the "Heartbeat Bill" and any other legislation that restricts women's reproductive rights, citing a belief that the policy is "backwards, misguided, shameful, and cowardly," and that "women should make their own health decisions." Several other legislators agreed, claiming that women should be trusted to make their own decisions.

Additionally, Wolf called the "Heartbeat Bill" moniker a clever way to emotionally manipulate the general public while subtly attacking women's personal liberties. Mayor Kenney agreed, saying that "These bills jeopardize health, especially in the instance of high-risk pregnancies, and I appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this very important issue."

Pennsylvania is not the first state to consider a “Heartbeat Bill,” which would make it illegal for a healthcare provider to perform an abortion if a heartbeat is detected. Several other states, including Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri passed heartbeat laws trying to ban or limit abortions; none have gone into effect due to court decisions of unconstitutionality.

Pennsylvania legislators who stood with Gov. Wolf today vowed to defeat this bill and any similar ones brought before the General Assembly.

Rep. Mary Isaacson said, “This bill, which to be clear is a six-week abortion ban, is not only scientifically and ethically wrong, but is yet another unconstitutional attempt to force Pennsylvanians to carry unwanted or unviable pregnancies to term at greater medical risk and against their will.”