Pennsylvania Republicans have revived a proposal that would criminalize a procedure used for second-trimester abortion care and ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation.
Anti-choice activists held a rally Tuesday calling on lawmakers to pass the bill. SB 888 is supported by several anti-choice organizations in the state including the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a state affiliate of Focus on the Family.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks and target the dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure that is commonly used after miscarriages and in second-trimester abortion care.
A physician who performs the procedure would be guilty of a third-degree felony, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
The bill was referred to the senate judiciary committee, where it awaits a hearing.
Lawmakers in April indefinitely postponed a vote on an identical bill in the state house after Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spoke during a press conference alongside women who said they relied on that medical procedure to end their pregnancies.
Republicans hold majorities in both of the Pennsylvania legislative chambers. In the state senate Republicans have a 31 to 19 advantage, and they control the house 118 to 84.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) previously said that he would veto the house version of the anti-choice measure should it reach his desk.