By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
The tweet was curious, both in its content and in its timing.
Only a day after the Pennsylvania state Senate made history by passing the popular Down Syndrome Protection Act, Governor Tom Wolf issued a tweet which stated, “Another attack on abortion: VETOED.”
To underscore the point, the tweet was accompanied by video of Pennsylvania’s chief executive vetoing House Bill 321.
Note the wording here: “attack on abortion.” As if there is never a reason to stop—let alone question—an abortion. As if abortion itself is a victim, when in actuality it claims two victims: the preborn baby who dies, and the mother who is left to grieve that loss.
The veto did not come as a surprise, given the Governor’s cozy relationship with the abortion industry. And yet, for him to go to such lengths to defend abortion was jarring.
Following the veto, I could not help but remember the faces of the people with Down syndrome who had come to the Capitol so many times to lobby for the legislation. They were literally lobbying for their lives, knowing that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with an extra chromosome are aborted. Each of these individuals had their own distinct beauty and talents—an irreplaceable creation on earth.
And yet, the Governor ignored them, falsely claiming that no disability rights groups supported the legislation. The bill was beautiful in its simplicity, barring abortion if the sole reason for the abortion was a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. For its supporters, the issue was clear: Children with Down syndrome are aborted at an alarming rate, and they should be protected under the law.
In the aftermath of the sadness surrounding this veto, there remains hope—the hope spawned by those with Down syndrome, who beat the odds every day with their achievements in schools, workplaces, and communities. It is a hope that will outlast the tenure of the Governor and his veto pen.