PA House Overwhelmingly Advances Rapp’s Legislation to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Babies Limb from Limb
HARRISBURG –  Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) to update Pennsylvania’s quarter-century-old Abortion Control Act to reflect major advances in science, medical technology and health care (House Bill 1948) was approved in the Pennsylvania House today by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin of 132-65.

“Now, more than 40 years after Roe v. Wade, passage of this legislation finally acknowledges what we’ve known from science and countless true stories, that the unborn child senses pain by 20 weeks gestation,” said Rapp. “It recognizes that if advances in medicine are allowing thousands of micro-preemies—at 20 to 24 weeks—to survive and thrive, that our laws must change to accurately reflect the sanctity of all human life.”

Rapp’s legislation would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, in recognition of these important medical advances, and the fact that health risks to the mother significantly increase after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  At 21-plus weeks, she is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than in the first trimester. In addition, House Bill 1948 would end the gruesome practice of dismemberment abortion (D&E), which involves tearing a baby limb from limb, and resulting in an inhumane and likely slow and painful death.

“In the year 2016, when Pennsylvania hospitals are leading our nation in performing dramatic, life-preserving surgeries for the most fragile of lives, we must finally end the inhumane practice of dismemberment abortions, which tears a human being to pieces,” said Rapp. “It is indisputable that the later in pregnancy an abortion occurs, the riskier it is for the mother and the more painful it is for the unborn child. All Pennsylvania mothers and their unborn children deserve far better than this. Final passage of this bill will bring Pennsylvania law in line with the latest medical advances in health safety for women, the viability of the child in the womb, and his or her ability to feel pain.”  

House Bill 1948 now advances to the state Senate for consideration. Currently, only six other countries (two of them being China and North Korea) join the United States in permitting elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If House Bill 1948 is signed into law, Pennsylvania would become the fifth state in the nation to outlaw dismemberment abortions.

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Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin

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