Abortion

Keith Srakocic / AP

A district attorney in Pennsylvania says should Roe v. Wade be overturned, he would not prosecute any women or medical professionals for seeking or performing safe abortion services.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala says there's concern that approval of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, could result in the landmark decision's reversal.

If it is overturned, abortion laws would revert to the states.

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania / Facebook

The Trump administration is considering policy changes that would cut government funding to health clinics that either provide abortions, or refer patients to clinics that do.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kerry Cannon, 31, of Bethel Park, works the salad bar at an Eat n' Park restaurant, a job she said she enjoys. She has Down syndrome, and said she has a good life. 

Matt Rourke / AP

With less than a week before the primary elections, GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is voicing his support for a restrictive abortion bill.

The stance is in line with a recurring theme in the race—the York County Senator’s apparent battle with rival Paul Mango over who is farther right politically.

Matt Rourke / AP

A proposal to prohibit abortions in Pennsylvania when the sole reason is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome is headed to the state Senate after passing the House by a comfortable margin.

Edwards4Pgh

Republican Shannon Edwards, 33, announced Wednesday that she’s seeking her party's nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle in a district that includes the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods.

Nati Harnik / AP

The Senate on Monday rejected legislation designed to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a vote that put vulnerable Democrats on the record on the issue during an election year.

The vote was 51-46, short of the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill. Three Democratic-senators up for re-election in conservative states voted to advance the legislation: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with most Democrats to reject it.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Democratic governor has vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature to limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, rejecting what Planned Parenthood says would have been the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the veto paperwork Monday in Philadelphia City Hall.

Pennsylvania's current limit is 24 weeks. The 20-week limit would have kept in place exceptions under current law for when a mother's life or well-being is at risk. It had no exceptions for rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The state legislature has approved a bill that would make Pennsylvania’s abortion laws among the most restrictive in the country.

But this is likely the end of the road for the measure—at least this session.

Governor Wolf will veto the bill, and its supporters don’t appear to have quite enough sway to override it.

Senate Bill 3 would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks, except in a medical emergency. The current limit is 24 weeks.

Matt Rourke / AP

This is the last scheduled session week for state lawmakers this year, and they’re working long days to try and push through several bills that are either time-sensitive, or political priorities.

A few of the measures on the agenda have been a long time coming.

A compromise bill to restore a temporary cash stream to the state unemployment compensation program has been in the works since nearly 500 workers were laid off a year ago over funding concerns.

It has passed the House, and is now on its way through the Senate.

Matt Rourke / AP

A bill narrowing the window to get an abortion in Pennsylvania could be on a fast track to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk sometime soon.

Andrew Russell / Tribune-Review

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the beleaguered Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

On Saturday, 215 Republican delegates will vote for their nominee to serve the remaining months of former Congressman Tim Murphy's term.

Murphy, who championed anti-abortion legislation, resigned last month following reports he asked a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to get an abortion.

Marc Levy / AP

It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and already three Republican state lawmakers have declared they will run for his seat.

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) declared Sunday that he’s suspending his U.S. Senate campaign to jump into the race. He joined state Sens. Kim Ward (R-Hempfield) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Jefferson Hills), who announced last week that they will run to replace Murphy.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

*UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2017 at 12:04pm

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that Congressman Tim Murphy will resign effective October 21.

That significantly speeds up Murphy's departure timeline; on Wednesday, the Republican from Upper St. Clair said he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Cliff Owen / AP

Republican Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania has announced plans to retire at the end of this term — amid tawdry revelations of an extramarital affair.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

An anti-abortion congressman asked a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair to get an abortion when he thought she might be pregnant, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

UPDATED: 4:18 p.m. Sept. 20, 2017*

The state Auditor General’s office has released a report that alleges a provider of abortion-alternative services misused taxpayer dollars.

Real Alternatives has been receiving state grants through the Department of Human Services for 20 years.

All of it is supposed to go to the subcontractors that actually carry out abortion alternative services.

Matt Rourke / AP

An impassioned group of advocates and lawmakers are pushing for two controversial pieces of legislation that would make it harder for women to access abortion services in Pennsylvania.

Rehumanize International

Pittsburgh organizers of an anti-war event have removed a pro-life group from co-sponsorship, after receiving a number of public complaints. The demonstration is still scheduled to proceed in July.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

UPDATE: Dec. 13, 2017:

This week, the state legislature approved a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The current law allows abortions up to 24 weeks. Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to veto the bill and legislators likely don't have enough votes to override his veto

Pennsylvania Senate OKs 20-Week Abortion Ban; Veto Awaits

Feb 8, 2017
Nati Harnik / AP

After an emotionally charged and graphic debate, the state Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to ban abortions at 20 weeks and restrict how the vast majority of second-trimester abortions are performed.

Charlotte Cooper / flickr

Reproductive health advocates around the region are reacting to last week’s legislative action in Ohio that would ban abortion at six weeks gestation, well before many women know they are pregnant. Gov. John Kasich now has 10 days to act on the “heartbeat law.”

Abortion Gets Heavy Attention In Pennsylvania Senate Race

Oct 23, 2016
Margaret J. Krauss

The battle to persuade swing voters in Pennsylvania's close U.S. Senate race includes a heavy emphasis on abortion rights.

This week it's bringing the presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL to moderate southeastern Pennsylvania to campaign for Democrat Katie McGinty.

McGinty supports abortion rights, and her allies have spent millions on TV ads attacking Republican incumbent Pat Toomey's record. Toomey opposes abortion rights, with exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

He's also voted to halt federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

As he takes the stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is firmly in Hillary Clinton's camp — and his party's — on the big health care issues. Now a U.S. senator from Virginia, Kaine supports the Affordable Care Act and pushed its Medicaid expansion. He also worked to overhaul the mental health system when he was governor of Virginia.

Here are highlights and a few flashpoints of controversy from Kaine's health policy record:

Mental health

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has picked to be his running mate. Pence's decisions about health and health care in Indiana have drawn attention from within and outside the state. His record could be important in November, because Trump doesn't have a legislative record at all.

Here's a quick look at the governor's history in terms of health policy in Indiana.

Medicaid Expansion

Delegates at the Republican convention in Cleveland have approved the strongest anti-abortion platform in the party's history. But groups that oppose abortion — groups that lobbied for the strong language — are far from unified.

In fact, following last month's Supreme Court decision reaffirming a woman's right to abortion, leaders of a movement known for speaking largely with one voice are showing some surprising disagreement.

Alex Brandon / AP Images

Elements of a Texas abortion law were struck down Monday by the Supreme Court. Among the provisions in the case was a requirement that abortion clinics must meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers as well as a mandate that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges to a hospital no more than 30 miles away. Now that the Court has struck down the provisions, what could this mean for Pennsylvania, who is also debating parts of its abortion laws? We’ll ask Susan Frietsche, she’s a senior staff attorney at the Women’s Law Project here in Western Pennsylvania.

Alex Brandon / AP Images

The United States Supreme Court ended its current term on Monday with some important decisions, but University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris said the most important event of the term was not an opinion at all.

When Zika started spreading through Latin America earlier this year, a number of governments issued advisories recommending that women put off getting pregnant because the virus can cause severe birth defects. At the same time these countries kept in place strict laws that would prevent a woman from getting an abortion if she were already pregnant.

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