As the legislature prepared to break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, they took action on two pieces of pro-life legislation. One is on its way to the governor’s desk. The others will likely move forward when they return to session in January.
SB 732 – Abortion Clinic Regulations Passed into Law
Championed by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga), Senate Bill 732 passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 151-44 on Tuesday, December 13. It passed the Senate earlier this year by a vote of 38-12 and on Wednesday, December 14, it was again passed in the Senate (32-18) in concurrence with the House. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.
The new law addresses concerns that stemmed from a tragedy that occurred in the Philadelphia abortion clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell where a woman died and seven newborn babies were killed by infanticide. Conditions in the clinic were so filthy and unsafe that investigators called it a “house of horrors.”
The measure holds abortion facilities to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements, and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities.
The passage of this bill into law is a victory for women and children in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) is urging all advocates to thank their legislators who voted yes for their pro-life vote on SB 732. Click here for the list of Senators and Representatives who voted in favor of the abortion clinic regulations bill. If you live in one of these legislators’ districts, you can use the Pennsylvania Catholic Advocacy Network to send an easy email thank you message today.
HB 1977 – Abortion Ban in Health Insurance Exchanges Passes PA House
On Monday, December 12, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 146 to 45 to remove abortion funding from the state health care exchanges that will be created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
This margin of victory in the state house indicates that the legislature is not in favor of using taxpayer’s money to fund abortions. According to a 2010 Quinnipiac Poll, 67% of Americans oppose abortion funding in the federal health care exchange.
House Bill 1977 now goes to the state senate. Please send a message to your Senator requesting a pro-life vote!
Women’s Right to Know Act: Ultrasound Access Bill
In addition to the legislation mentioned above, the PCC is also supporting the Ultrasound Access Bill, which requires that a woman be given the option to see her ultrasound and see/hear her unborn child’s heartbeat. The PCC expects this bill to be introduced in January in the House of Representatives. Over 100 representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors.