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Wolf's abortion lawsuit to be heard in Pa. Commonwealth Court

This means that the case will now be heard in front of the lower court following the Pa. Supreme Court's Sept. 12 rejection.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf filed a petition for review on Friday afternoon with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania regarding his challenge to Republican legislation that bundled a constitutional amendment regarding abortion with four unrelated proposed changes. 

This means that the case will now be heard in front of the lower court.

On Sept. 12, Pennsylvania's highest court rejected Wolf's request to immediately take up his challenge. 

However, in the decision, the justices said he was free to file a legal action before the lower-level Commonwealth Court, which is what Wolf has just filed. 

The lawsuit that was filed in the state Supreme Court argued that the proposed abortion amendment would violate privacy protections. The proposed abortion amendment says the state constitution does not guarantee any rights relating to abortion or public funding of abortions.

The other amendments would require voter ID, have gubernatorial candidates choose their own running mates, enable lawmakers to cancel regulations without facing a governor’s veto and set up election audits.

Wolf wants the amendments thrown out, declaring that they are not constitutionally valid.

Jason Gottesman, press secretary to House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre), said in a statement to FOX43, "The passage of SB 106 met every legislative and constitutional standard and we continue to believe the bill passes Constitutional muster.”

Wolf has previously called the abortion-related amendment part of Republicans’ campaign to “dismantle access to abortion and implement a radical agenda.”

Senator Jay Costa released the following statement to FOX43:

“I am pleased to see the Wolf administration continue to prioritize protecting and expanding access to safe, legal abortions in PA. However, the Senate Democratic Caucus continues to remain clear-eyed about the existential threat abortion access faces in the coming months. We will continue to advocate for the freedom to decide whether, when, and how to have a family for everyone, whether you call PA home or not.”

FOX43 has also reached out to House and Senate representatives from both parties as well as the governor's office. 

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information is released.

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