A 20-week abortion ban is moving through the PA House of Representatives. This bill, known as SB 3, also criminalizes the D&E form of abortion. It passed the Senate last winter and on December 4, 2017, it passed out of the House Health Committee. It is currently listed on the House Calendar for a vote by the full PA House of Representatives on Monday, December 11, 2017.
If you live in Pennsylvania, take a moment and call your state Representative. Tell her/him that you oppose SB3 and that it is an assault on women’s reproductive rights and health. Then say, “Please vote no this bill, and instead support laws that put women’s health first.”
Here’s a link to an easy-to-use call-in action page. It will link you to your Representative and provide a short message calling for a NO vote on SB 3. This link is provided to you courtesy of Keystone Progress.
“Pennsylvania politicians just advanced an unconstitutional bill that seeks to throw doctors in jail for providing standard medical care for their patients,” says WLP Senior Staff Attorney Susan J. Frietsche. “They are using discredited junk science to justify it, and repeatedly refusing testimony from real doctors, or their constituents. Anyone not seriously alarmed at both the goal and the process here is not paying attention.”
By criminalizing D&E, a common and safe medical procedure, for no medical reason, SB3 mandates substandard care for women. By criminalizing all pregnancy termination after 19 weeks for no medical reason, SB3 would force doctors to refuse standard medical care for patients facing crisis pregnancies, forcing them to carry unviable pregnancies to term, against their will and despite…
Here’s an update to yesterday’s blog on H.R. 7, aka the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”
Last night at 4:49 pm, the House of Representatives by a vote of 238 to 183 with 11 members not voting, passed this ideological, antiwomen’s reproductive healthcare bill. The 238 yea votes included 3 Democrats (Cuellar, Lipinski, Peterson) and every Republican who voted.
I checked out the roll-call vote. Here are the Ayes. These so called Representatives voted to make the Hyde Amendment and the Global Gag Rule (the Helms Amendment) permanent. And in addition, this vote denies federal subsidies to any person or small businesses who have healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act that cover abortion. Contact them and express your outrage at their lack of concern for women’s lives.
Hice, Jody B.
Lewis (MN) Lipinski
Rooney, Thomas J.
And here are the Noes. These Representatives voted to protect women’s reproductive healthcare. Contact these people and thank them for their support of women and their lives.
—- NOES 183 —
Adams Aguilar Barragán Bass Beatty Bera Beyer Bishop (GA) Blunt Rochester Bonamici Boyle, Brendan F. Brady (PA) Brown (MD) Brownley (CA) Bustos Butterfield Capuano Carbajal Cárdenas Carson (IN) Cartwright Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Chu, Judy Cicilline Clark (MA) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly Conyers Cooper Correa Courtney Crist Crowley Cummings Davis (CA) Davis, Danny DeFazio DeGette Delaney DeLauro DelBene Demings DeSaulnier Deutch Dingell Doggett Doyle, Michael F. Ellison Engel Eshoo Espaillat Esty Evans Foster Frankel (FL) Fudge
Gallego Garamendi Gonzalez (TX) Gottheimer Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutiérrez Hanabusa Hastings Heck Higgins (NY) Himes Hoyer Huffman Jackson Lee Jayapal Jeffries Johnson (GA) Kaptur Keating Kelly (IL) Kennedy Khanna Kihuen Kildee Kilmer Kind Krishnamoorthi Kuster (NH) Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lawrence Lawson (FL) Lee Levin Lewis (GA) Loebsack Lofgren Lowenthal Lowey Lujan Grisham, M. Luján, Ben Ray Lynch Maloney, Carolyn B. Maloney, Sean Matsui McCollum McEachin McGovern McNerney Meeks Meng Moore Moulton Murphy (FL) Nadler Napolitano Neal Nolan
Norcross O’Halleran O’Rourke Pallone Panetta Pascrell Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Pingree Pocan Polis Price (NC) Quigley Raskin Rice (NY) Richmond Rosen Roybal-Allard Ruiz Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sánchez Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell (AL) Shea-Porter Sherman Sinema Sires Smith (WA) Soto Speier Suozzi Swalwell (CA) Takano Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Titus Tonko Torres Tsongas Vargas Veasey Vela Velázquez Visclosky Walz Wasserman Schultz Waters, Maxine Watson Coleman Welch Wilson (FL) Yarmuth
I did find a video of the Rules Committee hearing on this bill (held January 23, the day before the final vote in the house). It’s about 90 minutes with most of the speakers in support of threatening women’s lives.
Immediately after the vote, a motion to reconsider was laid on the table. This motion was accepted without objection. So once they remove this temporary hold, the bill will be sent to the US Senate for review, hearings, and a vote. As soon as I find out which Senate committee this is going to, I’ll let you know.
You can meanwhile set up meetings, calls, and emails to your two Senators and strongly encourage them to vote against H.R. 7. If you click here, you can find your Senators’ web pages and contact information. Some of these websites may also include announcements of townhall meetings. If there is one of these in your area, GO! to the townhall meeting and let them know that women’s lives need to be protected and to vote NO on H.R. 7.
The US House of Representative is expected to vote today on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” aka known as HR 7 of 2017. Introduces on January 13, 2017, this fast-tracked bill attempts to block all women from accessing health insurance that covers abortion care.
Today the House is expected to vote on H.R. 7, known as the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would attempt to block all women from accessing health insurance that covers abortion care. It is a sweeping piece of legislation that touches on a number of anti-abortion policies.
H.R. 7 would make permanent the federal abortion funding restrictions, known as the Hyde Amendment, which Congress typically includes in the annual appropriations bill. The Hyde Amendment denies abortion coverage to the over 28 million women who receive their health insurance through federal programs, such as federal employees, Native Americans, veterans, federal prisoners, and the largest targeted group of reproductive age, low-income individuals on Medicaid.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 1 in 6 women of reproductive age are enrolled in Medicaid. Of these women, 60 percent live in a state that forbids Medicaid coverage of abortion, meaning they have to pay an average of over $350 out of pocket to access an abortion. The substantial burden forces one in four poor women who wish to terminate an unwanted pregnancy to carry to term.
H.R. 7 would also codify the Helms Amendment, which bans any international organization from using United States’ funds to provide abortion as a “method of family planning,” and has been interpreted to prevent funding even in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. Under H.R. 7, the United States, the largest aid donor in the world, would permanently deny survivors of war rape access to abortion.
The routine use of rape as a tool of war has been documented in conflicts around the world, from South Sudan to Syria to Nigeria, and constitutes a form of torture. According to the Global Justice Center, 40,000 women and girls are raped in conflict each year, but many more have suffered during specific conflicts. At least 50 percent of survivors are under the age of 18, but in some areas, up to 80 percent of those targeted are children, and many are very young adolescents. The risk of maternal death for girls aged 15 years and younger is twice that of an adult, and these young victims have higher rates of injury, infection or disease related to pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, for girls raped in conflict, the ability to access abortion has life or death consequences.
Another large group of women who would have their rights to abortion covered health insurance restricted are women who purchase health insurance through the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under H.R. 7, women who purchased insurance that covered abortion care would not be eligible for tax subsidies. 25 states have already enacted laws that forbid the selling of abortion care in the ACA marketplace. In addition, small businesses that choose health insurance plans that cover abortion would be denied the insurance-related tax credits that apply to small businesses.
Advocates of abortion access fear that eliminating tax subsidies and implementing strict regulations will push insurance companies to stop covering abortion for all women, as they are unlikely to offer a product that so many are effectively barred from purchasing.
H.R. 7 stands in direct opposition to the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act that was introduced in Congress in 2015. The EACH Woman Act would restore abortion insurance coverage to all women affected by the Hyde Amendment, as well as prohibit federal, state and local governments from passing laws that restrict private health insurance companies from offering abortion care, as has been done in 25 states.
President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is one of the staunchest opponents of the ACA and abortion and contraception access, opposing private health insurance coverage for abortion, voting to defund Planned Parenthood and co-sponsoring legislation to outlaw abortion, stem cell research, some forms on contraception and in vitro fertilization.
When asked in 2012 what he would say to low-income women who couldn’t afford birth control if it wasn’t covered by their health insurance, he replied, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”
Media Resources: Mother Jones 1/23/17; Feminist Majority Foundation 9/26/16, 8/12/16, 9/28/16, 1/6/17, 1/19/17; Guttmacher Institute 4/9/16;”
Now that you’ve read what’s going one, contact your US Representative and tell him/her to vote no on this very dangerous bill that makes the Hyde Amendment permanent.
Here’s a sample script from the Women’s Medical Fund in Philadelphia. You can use your own words or do something like this to express your outrage at government interference with your personal medical decisions:
Please tell [REPRESENTATIVE NAME] to vote NO on HR 7! Bans on abortion coverage like H.R.7 interfere with a woman’s ability to make her own decision about pregnancy and parenting.
Regardless of how we access insurance coverage, each of us should be able to live, work, and make decisions about our future, with dignity and without political interference.
Then once you’ve made your call, send an email to your representative. All Above All has an easy link with basically the same message for you to send.
We must Resist this backlash against women and their bodily integrity!
Resist! Show your support for women and reproductive justice. Many years ago, I was given a gold hanger pendant to show my support for abortion rights and reproductive justice. I’m going to start wearing it again. Every day. This is only a small statement. It’s a beginning.
Meanwhile…Resist! Resist! Resist!Take action! Start by being aware of what your state legislature is planning on legislating about your body and your personal medical decisions. We are in for a very bumpy ride.
Take action! Start by being aware of what your state legislature is planning on legislating about your body and your personal medical decisions. We are in for a very bumpy ride.
When Gov. John Kasich vetoed the infamous “heartbeat” bill, people across the nation breathed a sigh of relief. If signed, the ensuing law would have made abortion illegal in Ohio after the sixth week when some women didn’t even know they were pregnant. The bill he did sign into law, making abortion in the state illegal after 20 weeks, seemed mild by comparison. The 1972 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade made abortions legal until 24 weeks, 4 weeks later than Ohio, yet the Ohio’s restriction to 20 weeks initially seemed much better than the alternative.
The new Ohio law is dangerous, however, on many levels. Not only does it attempt to break Roe v. Wade, but it also puts doctors in prison. Performing an abortion after 20 weeks is a fourth-degree felony, carrying a sentence of up to 18 months in prison. A 2013 Ohio law…
Pennsylvania is poised to pass what is seen as the most restrictive abortion ban law in the country. The House has already passed HB 1948 and has sent it to the Senate. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed strictly along party lines. It has the most extreme restrictions placed on abortion in the country. A vote by the full state Senate is expected as early as this Wednesday, July 13. Please call your PA State Senator and tell her/him to OPPOSE House Bill 1948.
SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 1948
House Bill 1948, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), decreases the gestational limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It also bans Dilation and Evacuation abortions at any gestational age unless necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or prevent the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. There is no exception for rape, incest or fetal anomaly
My name is __________________ and I am a constituent from [your city]. I would like Senator________________________ to oppose HB 1948 that would restrict a woman’s access to abortion care services in an extreme and harmful way.
All women should have access to a full range of health care options, including abortion care services, and live their lives free from violence and reproductive coercion.
Every pregnancy is different and protecting women’s health and safety is paramount. I ask Sen. __________________ to stand with the women of this Commonwealth and vote “No” on HB 1948.
More than 40 years ago, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade recognized a woman’s constitutional right to decide whether to continue or end a pregnancy prior to viability. This ban is clearly unconstitutional and will cost taxpayers for the state to litigate a law that is unenforceable. It also constitutionally violates the most recent Supreme Court decision as noted in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion in the June 2016 WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ET AL. v. HELLERSTEDT case:
Justice Ginsburg dismissed Texas’s argument about its interest in protecting “the health of women who experience complications from abortions,” by countering that “complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous.” She recites a laundry list of studies of how safe abortion is, and then she delivers the message: “So long as this Court adheres to Roe v.Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v.Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws likeH. B. 2 [and PA’s proposed HB 1948] that ‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,’ Planned Parenthood of Wis., 806 F. 3d, at 921, cannot survive judicial inspection.”
You can find your representatives by clicking here. Once you are on the page you may enter your address and your elected officials and their contact information will appear.
Don’t Add Pennsylvania to the States that are Banning Abortions.
Don’t let Pennsylvania become the most restrictive state for abortion access in the country. Call your legislator TODAY!
(Thanks to the Pennsylvania Reproductive Health Coalition and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence for providing part of this information).
With dangerous proposals like House Bill 1948, Pennsylvania politicians are once again inserting themselves in the most private and personal medical decisions best left between a woman and her doctor.
This bill would ban abortion at 20 weeks and ban one of the most common types of abortion procedures. Almost 99% of abortions take place before 21 weeks, but when a woman seeks a later abortion it’s often n very complex circumstances. Yet anti-abortion access legislators in Harrisburg want to make this private and personal medical decision for women & families in Pennsylvania by passing HB 1948.
It took this same legislature over 280 days to pass the 2015-2016 budget, yet it only took THREE DAYS to introduce (April 1) and send (April 4) this bill to the full House for a floor vote. The debate and final vote in the PA House of Representatives is expected as early as Tuesday, April 12.
The Hypocrisy? 3 days to make war on women’s bodies. 9+ months to pass state budget funding critical government safety programs, education, and the general running of state and local services!
The Hypocrisy of the PA Legislature
What’s wrong with this picture? If it were to become law, HB 1948 would create one of the most restrictive, harmful, and unconstitutional abortion bans in the United States. It would change the states abortion ban from 24 weeks (that’s the edge of viability) to 20 weeks.
It would also outlaw the safest form of 2nd trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). According to a statement released by ACOG, “these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients.”
Although relatively rare, 2nd trimester abortions done in a safe and timely manner are necessary. Here’s one woman’s story. As Julie says in this video, “This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with the choices my husband and I needed to make.”
And here’s another story. This one is from Evelyn, who says, “It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Whether or not to have an abortion is a decision that should always be made between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her god.”
As you can see from these two women who were willing to come forward with their personal stories, it’s clear that lawmakers should not interfere with personal medical decisions. A woman considering an abortion is already facing challenging circumstances. We’re not in her shoes. We should not deny her the ability to make a decision in consultation with those she trusts. And no matter how we feel about abortion, we can all agree that a woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions. Lawmakers are not medical experts and this is not an area where lawmakers should be intruding.
HB 1948 also places women at risk by ignoring individual circumstances and health needs. Her health and safety is paramount. Providers and their patients may determine later abortion care is the best medical option for a variety of reasons. HB 1948 would take the decision out of the hands of patients and their trusted medical care providers and put it in the hands of politicians. This would endanger women and jeopardize safe, legal abortion care.
These types of attacks are aimed at criminalizing abortion and attack women’s constitutional rights. 20-week bans are unconstitutional and a clear attempt to erode Roe v. Wade at the expense of women’s health. In fact, 20-week ban proponents are outspoken about their goal to challenge the 1973 Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. Eliminating access to safe, constitutional and legal abortion services is a war on women from legislators attempting to impose their morality and narrow view of religious
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade also recognized that different moral and religious traditions have differing views on abortion. Protecting a woman’s ability to make her own decision about ending a pregnancy is critical to respecting her religious freedom. It is unjust for lawmakers to privilege the views of those who oppose abortion and seek to impose those beliefs on everyone, as doing so would directly block a woman’s ability to make her own faith-informed decision on this personal matter.
Bottom Line: While a majority of abortions in the United States occur in the first trimester, it is important that a woman, her family, and her doctor have every medical option available whenever she needs it. Laws banning later abortion would take that deeply personal decision away.
If you are part of the majority of voters who opposes these bans, contact your legislator today and urge them to oppose HB 1948.
Progressive commentary from Gainesville, Florida, once called the Berkeley of the South. Potano was the chief of and the only known name of the Native American tribe inhabiting the area around what is now Gainesville at the time the Europeans arrived.
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk
Learn more about the state laws being introduced and passed around the U.S. that is limiting Women's rights. Did you know that the Women's Equal Right Amendment from 1983 still needs to be ratified by 3 more states before it goes into effect?