HARRISBURG – Following through on a promise she made throughout the unprecedented series of public hearings on pro-life and abortion issues, House Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) convened a voting meeting on Tuesday and successfully advanced three landmark pro-life bills to the full House for future consideration.
“These hearings were originally convened in response to recent federal actions to force American taxpayers to pay for abortions worldwide,” said Rapp. “As evidenced by my questioning of Melissa Reed, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Keystone, in our second hearing, today’s abortion-on-demand movement has ruthlessly succeeded in transforming what once was considered the criminal destruction of innocent human life into a fiercely defended right to legalized, unrestricted abortion. Perhaps the most meaningful takeaway from each public hearing, and certainly, a direct reflection on the pro-life legislation that was advanced today, is simply: All human life is valuable.”
House Bill 118
would establish requirements to give parents final decision-making authority over the remains of their child, even if the child is lost prior to birth. Similar to legislation adopted in Indiana, which has been declared constitutional by the United State Supreme Court, House Bill 118 would create the stand-alone Unborn Child Dignity Act, which would provide for respectful internment of these innocent lives.
House Bill 904
would ban abortions when the heartbeat of the unborn child is first detected. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become one of 11 states in recent years to ban abortion when or before the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Other states include Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, and most recently, South Carolina and Texas.
Watch House Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp’s comments in support of House Bill 904 during Tuesday’s voting meeting
House Bill 1500
would prohibit the abortion of any child due solely to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome. Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. House Bill 1500 would simply expand that exception to prohibit aborting a child due solely to a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation also contains no restrictions on a mother obtaining an abortion in cases of rape, incest or personal endangerment.
“Tragically in Iceland, abortion supporters callously brag about eliminating children with Down syndrome, and mothers from around the world are being directly pressured or advised to make this decision by genetic counselors and their culture,” said Rapp. “Final passage of House Bill 1500 would bring an end to this genocidal abortion procedure in Pennsylvania, which is unconscionably being advanced by Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider. There is simply no justifiable or convenient excuse for aborting any unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome.”
The House Health Committee maintains legislative oversight over abortion, abortion facilities and teen pregnancy policies. The discussion topics for the four public hearings prior to today’s voting meeting included: Abortion Statistics and Fetal Development (April 8); Abortion Providers and Alternatives (April 21); Ending Down Syndrome Abortions (April 22); and Fetal Experimentation (May 4).
“Moving forward, the biggest potential threat to Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood may be the growing number of physicians, surgeons, nurses and other highly skilled medical professionals who are no longer willing to perform genocidal abortion procedures which is resulting in increasingly limited access and the closing of more abortion facilities,” concluded Rapp. “Once again, I would like to thank my Republican colleagues on the House Health Committee for taking another strong stand for life by voting in favor of this landmark pro-life legislation.”
Representative Kathy Rapp
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin