Veto

How Gov. Tom Wolf Used His Veto Power In 2019

Jan 2, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

One of the most powerful tools a governor has is the veto — the power to reject a majority decision by the legislature.

In fundraising emails, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf likes to remind his supporters of that power.

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.