The process is the only way for lawmakers, opposed to abortion, to bypass the governor’s veto pen. The legislature would have to pass the amendment in two consecutive sessions before it could be put on the ballot for voters to decide.
Governor Tom Wolf shared his thoughts on the proposed amendment that could be on the ballot as soon as next spring.
“There are techniques and gimmicks that people can use to get around it,” said Wolf, referring to his veto powers. “But the safest, the best thing we can do is recognize that elections matter and get out and vote,” he added, emphasizing the importance of this year’s race for governor between two candidates with very distinct stances on abortion access.
Democrat pro-choice candidate, Josh Shapiro and Republican pro-life candidate, Doug Mastriano.
Democrats rallied earlier this week, calling for Pennsylvanians to get out and vote this November, while also expressing high hopes of regaining a majority in the House.
Across the aisle, pro-life Republicans are hopeful their candidate, Senator Mastriano will prevail in November. However, they say the proposed amendment is their best option if their candidate does not win.
“We do have a constitutional amendment that would defund any abortion, any elective abortion in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/Crawford). “That would bypass the governor and go directly to the people to decide if they want to vote on banning any taxpayer coverage of abortion,” said Rapp.
Rapp, who chairs the House Health Committee and the Pro-Life Caucus, addressed what she calls “rumors” regarding the potential banning of contraceptives or birth control.
“I know there’s a lot of rumors out there, ‘we’re going to stop contraceptives, we’re going to’- that is totally not true. If you don’t want a child, please use contraceptives, use birth control, so you’re not going to face that decision,” said Rapp.
When asked about Mastriano’s stance on no exceptions for abortion, Rapp said lengthy discussions would have to be had about what’s best for Pennsylvanians.
“So are there circumstances where a woman, you know, it’s beyond her control? Absolutely. And I think in the coming days, and especially if Senator Mastriano would be the governor, we must have lengthy discussions on those issues,” said Rapp. “It won’t be done in a vacuum. It should be done with the hopeful governor and the House and the Senate sitting down and strategizing and looking at what is best for Pennsylvania,” she added.