The PA senate finally passed a bill swiftly, one week from start to finish: SB3. The PA senate voted to approve SB3, among the most restrictive abortion bills in the country, mostly along party lines.
Amazing! Our state senate that cannot pass a budget, that has been unable to pass sensible gun reform bills out of the judiciary committee, passed this law without any public hearings or medical testimony in the blink of an eye. They rejected a sensible request to refer the bill to Health and Human Services and another to hear from the medical community before voting. Why the haste? Why the refusal to get information or data from experts?
As you ponder the answer to this question, consider some interesting points about this bill, its proponents, and its targets:
SB3 bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies, contains no exception for rape or incest, and criminalizes doctors for performing the medically accepted D and E procedure. It ignores Roe v. Wade which stipulates that states may ban abortions, but only after the fetus can survive independently.
Less than 1.2 percent of abortions in PA are performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. The vast majority of these occur because severe fetal, often fatal anomalies, are discovered at the 20-week ultrasound.
SB3 would force women to carry unviable fetuses for months, condemn them to still-births, or births with no chance of survival. SB3 would endanger women’s future reproductive chances and immediate safety by insisting that more dangerous methods be used to terminate the pregnancy.
In passing the bill from the Judiciary Committee, Senator Greenleaf reasoned that there is “significant” medical evidence that fetuses can be viable before 24 weeks. Medical experts disagree. We cannot, however, check the source of Senator Greenleaf’s information. Senator Brooks, the Republican woman who introduced the bill, refused to publicly name her medical sources at the full senate hearing and the senate refused to wait for medical testimony.
If only our legislators cared as much about stopping toddlers from finding firearms that are unsafely secured and about women being shot by domestic abusers or about providing equitable and adequate funding for our children’s education! But, let’s be honest, a woman at the most painful and vulnerable moment of her life is a much easier target.