Letter: Voicing opposition to Senate Bill 3 limiting abortion in PA — State Senator Rafferty
Short story: it criminalizes termination at 20 weeks (norm is 24) and bans dilution and evacuation, a type of abortion that is recognized as most medically tested and often used in the case of miscarriages (unintended consequence much?)
Even Better story: They are voting this out of committee on Monday, WITHOUT public hearing. Republicans have been trying to pass restrictive abortion legislation for the past two years (see here).
Senator John C. Rafferty JR
Senate Box 203044
Harrisburg, PA 17120–3044
Room: 20 East Wing
I understand your history of opposing a woman’s right to choose, and I strongly disagree with you, and urge you to reconsider your position.
I would hope at least we both believe in a fair and democratic system that would support holding a hearing, a period of public response, and or a consultation with the medical community to understand the impact of the most recent Senate Bill in committee to criminalize pregnancy termination after 20 weeks, and ban on a dilation and evacuation, mis-represented by the term dismemberment abortion, clearly used evoke shock.
There are numerous restrictions on a woman’s choice to have an abortion in PA:
- including a 24 hour wait period after consultation w a medical provider (which is an undue burden for women of limited means where access may not exist in her county and that forces her to drive in excess to seek consultation) — In 2014, some 85% of Pennsylvania counties had no clinics that provided abortions, and 48% of Pennsylvania women lived in those counties.
- limited coverage under health plans in the health exchanges (except for cases of rape, incest, health of the mother) and additional costs if reasons for the abortion are outside of those outlined by the State
Instead of focusing on further restrictions outlined in Senate Bill 3, we should be focused on supporting the opening of further women’s clinics that provide comprehensive care for all women of the Pennsylvania, care that also includes abortion.
Providing adequate and safe healthcare to women is of most important to myself, and my fellow Pennsylvanians. Criminalizing abortion (provider or recipient) is not the way to address any of the underlying reasons to why women are presented with this choice.
Women come to this choice for a wide variety of reasons, some of which can be addressed by social policies that support comprehensive sex education, informed family planning through use of birth control such as IUDS, pills etc,.
There are also reasons which cannot be addressed through anything but an abortion, when carrying to term can threaten the life of the mother and unborn fetus.
Your position as Vice Chair on the judiciary committee means you have an especial responsibility to see this bill does not leave committee. It is within your right to bring this bill up, but to vote it out of committee without holding a hearing would do a disservice to the women of Pennsylvania.