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Where Allegheny County’s Harrisburg delegation stands on abortion access

A state Senate committee today voted to advance a bill that bans abortions in most cases after 20 weeks.

Sarah Anne Hughes

A Pennsylvania Senate committee today voted to advance a bill that bans abortions in most cases after 20 weeks.

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Michele Brooks, allows for exceptions only when a “physician reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent either the death of the pregnant woman or the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.”

It also essentially prohibits the dilation and evacuation procedure, which is generally used after 11 weeks. (The bill refers to the method as “dismemberment abortion.”) Groups like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose bans on specific procedures, as they “limit the ability of physicians to provide women with the medically appropriate care they need, and will likely result in worsened outcomes and increased complications.”

State Senators Guy Reschenthaler and Randy Vulakovich, both Republicans from Allegheny County and members of the Judiciary Committee, voted to advance the bill. The full Senate could vote as soon as Wednesday.

Similar legislation was introduced during the 2015-16 session in the House by Republican Rep. Kathy L. Rapp. The full House voted on the bill in summer 2016, approving it 132-65, but the full Senate didn’t take it up.

Gov. Tom Wolf pledged to veto that bill and has made the same promise again. The difference: The Senate now has a veto-proof majority.

Below, you can see where your Allegheny County senator and representative stand on abortion access, which is already limited in the commonwealth. (Don’t know who your senator and rep are? Find out using this tool.) You can also see the info in spreadsheet form here.

Update, Feb. 8, 7:40 p.m.

The Pa. Senate voted Wednesday to approve the bill 32-18. Allegheny County Senators Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana, both Democrats, voted against the bill. Republican Senators Guy Reschenthaler and Randy Vulakovich voted in favor of it, as did Democratic Senator James Brewster.

Senate

This rundown looks at five things:

PA Senator Party Planned Parenthood Legislative Scorecard — “Position on Safe, Legal Abortion” Vote on ACA abortion coverage ban, June 2013 TRAP vote, June 2011 Co-sponsor 20-week abortion ban? Vote on 20-week abortion ban, Feb. 2017 Co-sponsor bill to defund Planned Parenthood?
Guy Reschenthaler Republican Not rated Not in office Not in office Yes Yes Yes
James R. Brewster Democrat Supports Yes No No Yes No
Jay Costa Democrat Supports No No No No No
Randy Vulakovich Republican Opposes Yes Yes, as a member of the House. Yes Yes No
Wayne D. Fontana Democrat Supports No No No No No

House

This rundown looks at:

  • Planned Parenthood’s rating of the representative
  • The rep’s vote on a bill that prevented insurance providers from offering abortion coverage through the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace
  • The rep’s vote on a bill that established stricter standards for facilities where abortions are provided, referred to as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers or TRAP laws
  • The rep’s vote on the 2015-16 session 20-week ban bill

The only freshman representative on the list is Anita Astorino Kulik, who on her campaign website describes herself as “pro-life.”

PA Representative Party Planned Parenthood Legislative Scorecard — “Position on Safe, Legal Abortion” Vote on 20-week abortion ban, 2015-16 session (June 21, 2016) Vote on ACA abortion coverage ban, April 2013 TRAP vote, Dec. 2011
Adam Ravenstahl Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Anita Astorino Kulik Democrat Not rated Not in office Not in office Not in office
Anthony M. DeLuca Democrat Opposes Did not vote Yes Yes
Dan Frankel Democrat Supports No No No
Dan L. Miller Democrat Supports No Not in office Not in office
Daniel J. Deasy Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Dom Costa Democrat Mixed Yes No Yes
Ed Gainey Democrat Supports No No Not in office
Eli Evankovich Republican Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Frank Dermody Democrat Supports No No No
Harold A. English Republican Opposes Yes Yes Not in office
Harry Readshaw Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Jake Wheatley Jr. Democrat Supports No No No
Jason Ortitay Republican Opposes Yes Not in office Not in office
John Maher Republican Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Joseph F. Markosek Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Marc J. Gergely Democrat Opposes No Yes Yes
Mark Mustio Republican Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Mike Turzai Republican Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Paul Costa Democrat Mixed No Yes Yes
Rick Saccone Republican Opposes Yes Yes Yes
Robert F. Matzie Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes
William C. Kortz II Democrat Opposes Yes Yes Yes