Pennsylvania representative introduces ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill
Freshman state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Centre/Clinton, introduced a so-called “heartbeat” abortion bill on Monday alongside Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Fayetteville.
House Bill 1977 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 912, would require all physicians to determine if a fetus has a heartbeat before performing an abortion and immediately stop if one is detected.
“If a person is pronounced dead when their heartbeat stops, why are they not considered alive when their heartbeat begins?” Borowicz said.
If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the 10th state to ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Utah, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky all enacted similar legislation in the spring.
“I spoke with Janet Porter, author of the ‘heartbeat’ bill, and she believes the ‘heartbeat’ bill is the dagger into Roe v. Wade,” Borowicz said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court case that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
As other states were enacting “heartbeat” abortion laws earlier this year, Gov. Tom Wolf said he would not support such an effort in Pennsylvania.
Wolf said the bills “seek to place a politician between a woman and her doctor when it comes to the most important medical decision she’s ever going to make.”
Borowicz’s religious conviction has been front and center since her election in 2019. Her invocation to open a March 2019 legislative session drew criticism for straying from the guidelines established for guest chaplains.
Borowicz said she is only seeking to uphold individual rights.
“At the most fundamental level, this heartbeat bill would effectively guarantee that future Pennsylvania children have the right to be born,” she said.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .