By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Once again, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has shut down businesses because of the pandemic—but abortion operations are exempt from his latest closure order.
Over the weekend, gyms, theaters, and casinos had to shut their doors, while abortion facilities were permitted to remain open. Restaurants had to suspend indoor dining, and indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
But the Governor’s announcement made no mention of abortion facilities. This, despite the threat of infection which abortion centers pose to vulnerable women.
For five months—from February to July—the state Health Department presumably failed to inspect abortion facilities, since no inspection reports during that time appear on the department’s website. The failure to inspect—despite a state law requiring it—prompted an outcry from a number of state lawmakers.
But with the Governor’s most recent COVID mitigation orders, it is unclear whether abortion facility inspections will once again be suspended, jeopardizing the health and safety of Pennsylvania women.
Pennsylvania has also been hampered by the Governor’s veto of a bill which would have expanded telemedicine services throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Wolf, who served as a volunteer clinic escort for abortion giant Planned Parenthood, vetoed the bill solely because of a provision that would have banned tele-abortions. These chemical abortions take place without an abortionist being available. Everything is done via an electronic screen.
Meanwhile, a number of pregnancy resource centers in Pennsylvania report increased demand for diapers, wipes, and formula during the pandemic. These caring facilities have responded heroically to the call for action, providing a much-needed lifeline for women in need.
Perhaps that is the lesson of 2020—despite the odds, pro-life advocates will be reaching out and saving lives—no matter what obstacles are placed before us.