Episode 31: The abortion debate in Pa.

Like other states attempting to curtail abortion, Pennsylvania has its own bill.

  • Katie Meyer/WITF

Efforts to seriously curtail abortion in Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio and other states may have dominated the news the last few days, but here in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers have been busy moving their own proposed restriction on the procedure.

The bill in question passed the House on about a week ago. It would ban abortions that are sought based on a Down syndrome diagnosis, and would carry heavy penalties for the doctors that perform them. They could be stuck with a third-degree felony and lose their medical license.

Debate on the House floor sounded like debate on lots of efforts to curb abortion. Opponents say it’s morally wrong, and those who want to keep it legal say the bill would burden an essential right.

Here to discuss where the issue stands in Pennsylvania, and why this bill is the top priority right now, are two Capitol reporters: John Baer is a Philly Inquirer columnist who has covered decades of abortion debates, and Stephen Caruso with the Penn Capitol Star has been taking a close look at how these votes have shifted in recent years.

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