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A look ahead to pro-life state legislation

by | Dec 17, 2020

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

2021 is not even here yet, but already lawmakers in Pennsylvania are working on their legislative agendas. 

At the top of the list for many legislators are measures which call attention to the sanctity of innocent human life.

For instance, Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington County) is reintroducing a bill to make abortion facilities more accountable with regard to health and safety violations. The bill would require abortion centers to post on their websites the results of state Health Department inspections. The websites would also have to show proof of correction for violations of Pennsylvania health requirements.

The legislation is vitally important, considering Pennsylvania’s checkered history of abortion center health inspections. Abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” was not inspected for 17 years. Ultimately, Gosnell was convicted of murdering three newborn babies and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an adult female patient, Karnamaya Mongar. 

At the time of Gosnell’s crimes, the state had suspended abortion center inspections because of pro-abortion politics, as the definitive Grand Jury report documented in immense detail.

In 2011, that era of non-accountability ended when the state legislature passed and pro-life Governor Tom Corbett signed into law an abortion center regulation law. That law requires periodic inspections by the state Health Department, which posts the results on its website.

The problem is, many of the women who walk into abortion centers never see the Health Department website. But they are likely to view an abortion facility’s website, making Rep. O’Neal’s legislation all the more relevant.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania state Rep. Frank Ryan is reintroducing his bill which would require the respectful interment of preborn babies who died before they have a chance to be born. A number of parents have expressed anguish over the disrespectful disposal of fetal remains in the Commonwealth. 

Rep. Ryan believes his bill, the Unborn Child Dignity Act, would help facilitate the grieving process for families who have lost children prior to birth. 

A number of other pro-life bills are expected to be filed in Pennsylvania in 2021, since the Commonwealth boasts pro-life majorities in both the state House and Senate.  Advocates for life hope the legislative activity will help make 2021 the year of the woman and her preborn child.           

Categories: Legislation
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