By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
It is not every day that the head of the nation’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood, holds a news conference in my state Capitol. But yesterday was no ordinary day, for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was expected to vote on a ban on the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion. It is a horrific process in which a baby is torn limb by limb from the mother’s womb, but it is also a common practice in second trimester abortions.
Having failed to stop House Bill 1948 in committee, and having failed in a House floor motion to postpone a vote on the bill until June 15th, Planned Parenthood brought out its national President, Cecile Richards, in an effort to stop the bill (The bill, by the way, has 100 co-sponsors.).
From what I heard of the news conference, the word “dismemberment” never passed through Cecile’s lips. Instead, the focus was on women’s health care choices. Her soundbite-ready response to the legislation was this: “Politicians are the last people who should be making decisions about women’s health care.”
House Bill 1948 would actually safeguard women’s health care by saving unborn women from a gruesome death by dismemberment. It would also save their mothers from a practice that increases the risk of hemorrhage and infection, in addition to the grief and remorse that can result from learning about the loathsome manner in which your baby lost her life.
A statewide poll showed that 61 percent of Pennsylvanians support a ban on dismemberment abortions. In fact, 64 percent of the women surveyed applaud the ban. As a result, Ms. Richards and pro-abortion Governor Tom Wolf (who once served as a Planned Parenthood center escort) are clearly out of step with the vast majority of Pennsylvania residents who believe that a dismemberment ban would be good public policy.
Governor Wolf has threatened to veto the bill, if it makes it through the PA House and Senate. This is not a surprise, since the Governor’s Chief of Staff has served as a Planned Parenthood board member.
For Planned Parenthood, which touts its non-profit status, abortion is actually big business. The abortion giant performed nearly 330,000 abortions in fiscal year 2014—an astounding number by any count. A ban on dismemberment abortions hurts the organization’s bottom line.
A spokesman for the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House has been quoted as saying a vote on House Bill 1948 has been delayed until after the spring primary, which occurs April 26th. Supporters of the bill remain hopeful that the measure can still make it through both chambers and to the Governor’s desk.
If Governor Wolf follows through on his threat to veto the bill, he will be circumventing the will of a sizeable majority of Pennsylvania residents, showing his allegiance is not to the people, but to Planned Parenthood.
Action Item: If you live in Pennsylvania, please call your state representative and urge a “yes” vote on House Bill 1948.