PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has vowed to veto a bill that would restrict a woman’s right to an abortion but he’s hoping it won’t get to his desk. The governor is trying to get the bill a hearing in the court of public opinion.
The state Senate fast-tracked the bill, passing it without a hearing, so the governor says he’s presenting the witnesses the state should have heard from before a vote — women like Karen Agetone, who brought her 3-month-old son, conceived, she said, only because she had a late-term abortion for a daughter with a fatal form of dwarfism.
“Every day, legislators are trying to force decisions on women they don’t know about, circumstances they could never understand,” Agetone said. “Everyday, I hear anti-choice rhetoric about the value of life, but no one valued the life of my daughter more than I did.”
Wolf urged the House to stop the bill, but says if he has to veto the bill, it won’t be a political decision.
“It’s morally right,” he said. “Pennsylvania is not and cannot afford to be a place where women cannot make their own health care decisions.”
The bill would ban abortions at 20 weeks, which supporters say is when some fetuses are viable.
It’s just one of several bills both the governor and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney say they find troubling.
The Senate has also passed a bill punishing sanctuary cities such as Philadelphia, which Mayor Kenney says makes no sense.
“Why does a senator from Lackawanna County or wherever care about who lives in Philadelphia? I would make a recommendation that you send all your immigrants here and we’ll be happy to take them because they’ll rebuild neighborhoods and start businesses,” the mayor said.
Other city policies the state legislature is prepared to intervene in include mandatory sick leave and a ban on asking job candidates for their salary history — all things Wolf says should not be priorities.
“There are a lot of things in Harrisburg that we need to pay attention to,” the governor said. “We have schools we have to fund, seniors who need attention, we have an opioid epidemic, we need to create jobs, we have so many things that are important that we have to do, I think we should get out of the way of what localities want to do and let them work out with their own citizens what they want to do.”