in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Saturday, May 26, 2012

House Bill 2405 – the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,

  • "Legislation to prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion-on-demand providers from receiving taxpayer funding was introduced yesterday as House Bill 2405 – the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act.

    "'Across the United States, Planned Parenthood performs an abortion every 95 seconds on 91 percent of all the pregnant mothers that walk through their doors,' said Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), prime sponsor of the bill. 'For every one adoption referral made by America’s largest abortion-on-demand provider, 391 babies are aborted. Each year, Planned Parenthood aborts more than 320,000 innocent lives and over 16,000 of those abortions occur in Pennsylvania.'"
As explained by CatholicOnline,

  • "The bill was co-authored by the Susan B. Anthony List and the Alliance Defense Fund....[and] is similar to one that recently passed in Arizona."
As noted in Pennsylvania Family Council Fact Sheet,

  • "Money is fungible, and taxpayer funds should not go to entities that perform elective abortions."
The Susan B. Anthony List urges you to

  • "Tell your Pennsylvania State Representatives, Senator, and Gov. Corbett to support the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gov Corbett, Sen Pileggi, Rep Turzai: Are you abandoning the pro life voters who elected you?

As per its May 10th update, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conferen continues to advocate for SB 3 and HB 1977.  As you know, SB 3 passed the Senate almost one year ago (37 to 12), while HB 1977 passed the House in December (146 to 45).  Incredibly, they are at a standstill.

It should be noted that even back in February, the ACLU of Pennsylvania was calmly commenting that "These bills are still resting quietly in the opposite chamber. HB 1977 is in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, and SB 3 is on the House Tabled Bill Calendar. It is unclear what is happening with these bills."

Even after SB 3 and HB 1977 had passed their respective chambers with a promised signature from Governor Corbett, Raising Women’s Voices Southeastern Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanian’s[sic] for Choice were urging those of like mind to "Call the Governor at 717-787-2500 to express your opposition."  Did they know something that we did not?
Gov Corbett, Sen Pileggi, and Rep Turzai: We want SB 3 / HB 1977 to be law!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

SB 3 / HB 1977: "frustratingly unresolved" (Pa Catholic Conference)

As per a May 10th update from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "Several issues in Washington, DC and Harrisburg right now are frustratingly unresolved [Well said!]."  After passing the Pennsylvania Senate 37 to 12 almost one year ago and passing the Pennsylvania House 146 to 45 in December, Senate Bill 3 (and its companion) House Bill 1977 are at a standstill (You can check the Pennsylvania General Assembly's web site for updates.).

This inertia certainly has to play right into the hands of those powerful pro-abortion forces who opposed this legislation from the start.  They would certainly like nothing more than to see Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 1977 derailed:
  • "House Bill 1977 prohibits insurance companies from covering abortion care in the insurance exchange created by the federal healthcare reform law, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and imminent death....'The state House is a health hazard,' said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. 'That chamber is a danger to women's health. Either they don't understand the healthcare needs of women or they don't care'....The House is likely to vote on final passage of HB 1977 sometime next week" (ACLU of Pennsylvania, 12/7/11).
  • "If a few bills slowly making their way to Gov. Corbett’s desk are enacted, abortions could become more expensive and generally harder to obtain.  Two near-identical bills—Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 1977, which passed the House Monday night—seek to take away insurance coverage for abortions under Obamacare (aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). The president’s plan will require states to establish a health exchange for people to buy medical insurance....'I’m just amazed at the people who are going to vote for this bill,' said Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) before the 146-45 vote. 'They trust their constituents to vote for them, but not to make decisions for their own lives. That is unacceptable'" (Philadelphia Weekly, 12/14/11).
  • "SB 3 and HB 1977 would ban insurance companies participating in the yet-to-be established state health insurance exchange from offering abortion coverage....Without coverage for abortion services, women will be forced to seek care from non-reputable providers....HB 1977 passed out of the House on December 13th and will move to the Senate for consideration. Call the Governor at 717-787-2500 to express your opposition" (Pennsylvanians for Choice, undated).
  • "Currently, PPSP is fighting a proposed ban on insurance plans from covering abortion procedures in Pennsylvania's state exchange, slated to be available for enrollment in 2014. The ban would drastically restrict Pennsylvania women's access to abortion services leaving women worse off than they currently are. Senate Bill 3 passed out of the PA Senate in June and will move to the PA Early December, a similar bill in House, House Bill 1977 sponsored by Rep. Baker from Tioga County, passed out of the PA House and now moves to the PA Senate for consideration" (Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania, undated)
  • "On December 12, 2011, the Pennsylvania House of Representative passed HB 1977 by a vote of 146-45....We need to call your Senator and members of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. We need them to vote NO on House Bill 1977.  Please tell your senator that women need access to safe, affordable comprehensive reproductive health care services, and to please vote NO on HB 1977. Women's lives depend on it" (Women's Law Project, undated).
The great Edmund Burke noted that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and good women] do nothing."  What has become of the backbones of those 37 senators (including all 4 from Bucks County) and 146 representatives (including 27+ Catholics) who did the right thing last June and last December?  By not demanding that the House and Senate majority leaders move forward and get this legislation signed by the governor, are they now playing both sides of the fence? 

This situation certainly leads to questions as to whether some of those who voted for SB 3 and HB 1977 are truly on our side.  For political expedience, it seems that some would like the label "pro life" without needing to stand up to defend the lives of the defenseless.  To paraphrase some not-so-great men, "Let's get down on our knees and pray we don't get fooled again."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rep Turzai - Please Act on SB 3

Representative Mike Turzai
House Majority Leader
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Dear Representative Turzai,

As you know, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference lobbied hard, to prevent coverage of "elective abortions" in "Obamacare":
  • "SB 3 assures all Pennsylvanians covered by an exchange health plan that they will not be forced to pay a separate premium to cover elective abortion. Without SB 3, every person enrolled (man or woman) in a plan within the Pennsylvania state exchange would be required to make a payment to fund elective abortion coverage for others....Without the opt-out, the government subsidized insurance plans could be used to cover elective abortions" (undated).
It was a cause for celebration on June 7th of last year, when SB 3 passed the Senate by a vote of 37 to 12.  Six months later, the house version of the bill - HB 1977 - passed by a vote of 146 to 45 on December 12.  Of those 146 representatives who voted pro life on that day, it is with pride that I note that there were at least 28 Catholic voters (i.e., Representatives Adolph, Barrar, Caltagirone, Carroll, Dom Costa, DiGirolamo, Galloway, Gibbons, Gingrich, Hanna, Harhart, Harkins, Harper, Hennessey, Hickernell, Killion, Marsico, Markosek, Matzie, Mirabito, Murphy, Murt, Roae, Sainato, Scavello, Staback, Toohil, & yourself).  My own representative, John Galloway, crossed party lines on that vote, recognizing that the sanctity of human life takes absolute preference over politics.  Among the 45 representatives who voted against HB 1977, I was dumbstruck to find that those anti-life voters included at least 7 Catholics.

After passing the House, this legislation should have moved quickly for Governor Corbett's promised signature.  Instead, there has been no further action.  Unbelievably, we instead seem to be witnessing a quiet acquiescence to "Catholic" representatives Paul Costa, Dermody, McGeehan, Pashinski, Sabatina, Santoni, and White, as well as all those who voted against HB 1977.  Those 45 representatives who voted against HB 1977 appear to be of like mind with Planned Parenthood and all others who are intent on seeing abortion coverage in the future Pennsylvania health insurance exchange. 

This pro life legislation passed the Senate and the House - It is shameful that it has not arrived on the governor's desk for a signature. 

Representative Turzai, please move SB 3 forward.


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