Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine on Monday morning joined the chorus of voices against HB 1948, the hastily moved bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, four weeks earlier than the current limit. It would also sharply curtail use of dilation and extraction, a medical procedure used to terminate a second-trimester pregnancy.

It's expected to pass on a floor vote in the state House today, though Gov. Wolf opposes it and Senate leaders haven't said if they even will consider it.

Levine's statement: 

I am deeply disturbed by the fast-tracking of House Bill 1948 in the House of Representatives against the advice of the medical community and women’s health advocates.  As a physician, my duty to my patients is to provide the most appropriate medical care.  The relationship between a patient and her doctor is built on trust.   This legislation undermines that trust and limits the ability of doctors to exercise their own judgment with regard to their patients.' 

“This bill, in fact, punishes women whose pregnancies have complications. Women and their families, when faced with a devastating diagnosis of a significant fetal anomaly, have the right to make the decision which is appropriate for them, in consultation with their doctors.  Doctors and their patients must be able to make choices about medical procedures based on best practices and standards of care.  We need to help women facing difficult pregnancies, not punish them.  We need to trust women to make their own choices, not dictate those decisions to them.  I urge the House to table this bill and the Senate to make a commitment to not run the bill.  Rather than move this legislation, let’s open a conversation about helping women and their families.”

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