Wolf Pushes Planned Parenthood Abortion Agenda While Failing to Finalize State Budget
By State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest), Pennsylvania House Pro-Life Caucus Chair
Earlier this month in a landmark pro-life victory, President Donald Trump announced that employers will now be exempt from the Obamacare birth control mandate, if it conflicts with their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.

This action now limits a rule created under the Affordable Care Act that has forced many employers and non-church religious organizations—under the threat of heavy penalties by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies—to provide health care coverage for all forms of contraception, from birth control pills to abortion-inducing drugs, at no cost to their employees.

The Trump administration cited legal reasons for issuing the two rules: one for religious and the other for moral objections. Administration officials also confirmed that the Affordable Care Act failed to provide protection for nonreligious, moral conscientious objections as required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Regarding the likelihood for success of the state attorney general’s pending lawsuit against the Trump administration, this controversial mandate has twice reached the Supreme Court where the nation’s highest court sided with the efforts of both Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor to not be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs in violation of their consciences.

With a completed state budget nearly four months overdue and after missing the vast majority of state budget negotiations, Gov. Tom Wolf has embarked on a public relations tour to flaunt his support for Planned Parenthood, the world’s leading abortion provider. One of his recent stops included a visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia, where more than 20,000 babies have been aborted since 2013.

On Oct. 10, the governor managed to break away from actively reliving his days as a volunteer Planned Parenthood abortion clinic escort and called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact legislation that would again require employers to cover contraceptives at no cost to their employees as a “preventive” service.

As the bipartisan chair of the Pennsylvania House Pro-Life Caucus, I want to clearly state that we will not support any government mandate that would force employers to provide employee health care coverage that directly violates their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs, and ultimately, the sanctity of all human life.

Our top priority remains to advance legislation, of which I am grateful to be the prime sponsor, to update the Commonwealth’s quarter-century-old Abortion Control Act to reflect the growing body of research and scientific evidence, and especially the tremendous advances in medicine over the past three decades.

First of all, House Bill 77 would prohibit abortions after five months of pregnancy. This has been shown to be the stage when all babies are capable of feeling pain and when the likelihood of a substantial complication for the mother seems to increase.
Furthermore, this pro-life legislation would end the gruesome practice of dismemberment abortions. Dismemberment abortions occur when a baby’s life is terminated by tearing them limb from limb. As the baby is capable of feeling pain at this gestational stage, it is unconscionable to allow dismemberment abortions to continue.

Last session, similar legislation I sponsored was approved in the Pennsylvania House by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin of 132-65 and advanced to the Senate.
There was even more promising news at the federal level on Oct. 3, when the U.S. House advanced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would also prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. The legislation, which President Trump has already promised to sign to “end painful late-term abortions nationwide,” is currently awaiting consideration in the U.S. Senate.

Currently, only six other countries (two of them being China and North Korea) join the United States in permitting elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If House Bill 77 becomes law, Pennsylvania would become the ninth state in the nation to outlaw dismemberment abortions.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp

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