HARRISBURG — Even as some Republicans try to steer policy initiatives toward bread-and-butter economic issues in advance of the November elections, a small band of GOP lawmakers in Harrisburg tacked rightward Wednesday, introducing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania.
The legislation, similar to antiabortion bills crafted in other states, would bar all federal and state funding to the nonprofit, which provides abortions along with an array of other women’s health services.
Earlier this year, a group of House lawmakers introduced the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” a bill that would force women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound of the unborn baby before the procedure. That bill has yet to reach a floor vote.
Last year, six other state legislatures stripped Planned Parenthood of public funding. Courts in each of those states except Wisconsin have since determined that those laws were unconstitutional and have temporarily blocked them. Other states have dropped similar proposals, and four — Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Michigan — are still weighing similar bills. In New Jersey, Gov. Christie last year blocked Democrats’ efforts to fund Planned Parenthood in that state.