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How Lehigh Valley lawmakers voted on constitutional amendment package
Women would have no rights to abortion under proposal; IDs would be required at polls.
Republicans in Harrisburg have begun paving the way for five amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would, among other things, clearly state that women have no guaranteed rights to abortion or public funding for abortion.
According to various media reports, the abortion amendment would not ban abortions but would curtail the abillity to challenge laws that would restrict or outlaw abortions in Pennsylvania.
It arose out of concern over an ongoing lawsuit that a Republican lawmaker said could lead the state Supreme Court to rule that abortion is a constitutional right, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The abortion amendment was added to constitutional amendments that won approval in the House in December. The others amendments would:
Require voters to show a valid ID at the polls.
Mandate the auditor general to audit elections.
Allow each party’s gubernatorial nominee to pick their own running mate. Currently, separate elections are held for lieutenant governor.
Allow the Legislature to reject regulations without facing governor vetoes.
According to The Associated Press, the state constitution mandates that proposed amendments must pass both chambers in a two-year legislative cycle. They must then be advertised to the public. The amendments must again pass both chambers in the following two-year session. The voters would then vote on each proposed amendment separately.
Spotlight PA said voters could vote on the ballot questions in spring 2023 at the earliest if the Legislature approves the measures the required second time in the next legislative session.
How the Lehigh Valley delegation voted:
All members of the Lehigh Valley delegation voted along party lines except for Lisa Boscola, D-18th, who voted yes to the amendment package.
In the Senate, Pat Browne, R-16th, and Boscola voted yes.
In the House, voting yes were Gary Day, R-187th, Joe Emrick, R-137th, Ann Flood, R-138th, Milou Mackenzie, R-131st, Ryan Mackenzie, R-134th, and Zach Mako, R-183rd.
In the House voting no were Bob Freeman, D-136th, Jeanne McNeil, D-133rd; Steve Samuelson, D-135th, Mike Schlossberg, D-132nd, and Peter Schweyer, D-22nd.
All are up for re-election in November except for Browne, who lost to Jarrett Coleman in the 16th Senate District’s GOP primary, and Day who lost to Ryan Mackenzie (who will be in the 187th next year as part of the mandated redistricting). Schweyer will be in the 134th.
Votes on other abortion-related measures over the last few years can be found here.
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