Two Bills Advanced in Pennsylvania

by Jan Frazier

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Washington Insider Magazine) On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s Legislature advanced bills “to restrict abortion rights and expand gun rights.” Already, these two bills are sure to be opposed by Democratic lawmakers. In addition, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is sure to veto the bills. In the House Health Committee, “Republicans passed two bills on a party-line basis to further restrict abortion rights.”

One of the bills to be introduced would “restrict abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.” This could be within six weeks of becoming pregnant. This type of bill has not been introduced before in the Pennsylvania Legislature. 

There are a dozen other states that already have such a law. However, federal courts “have mostly blocked states from enforcing the measures.”

Another bill “would prohibit an abortion on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis.” Federal courts have again blocked such legislation in the past “in every state where it was challenged.” In 2019, Wolf vetoed a similar bill.

In Pennsylvania, abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks of becoming pregnant “for any reason except to select a gender.” There are exceptions – rape, protection of the life of the mother, or incest.

On the topic of firearms, In Pennsylvania, loaded firearms do not call for a permit. Only in Philadelphia must a person have a permit to carry a loaded firearm. “The bill also would remove the requirement for people to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, including storing it in their car.”

A second bill has been sought by gun rights groups. They wish to “sue a municipality over a firearms ordinance.” In 2014, a bill that was similar was passed; however, it was later dismissed on a technicality. 

Pennsylvania has stopped cities from enforcing “firearm ordinances that regulate the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation of guns or ammunition.” However, cities seem often to ignore the ordinance by “approving their own gun restrictions.”


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