Abington, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf today joined women’s health advocates and medical professionals, along with Representative Madeleine Dean, Senator Art Haywood, Representative Steve McCarter, and Representative Mary Jo Daley to denounce the fast-tracking of Senate Bill 3 which would eliminate a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care in consultation with her doctor.
“I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who have stood against this bill. Let me be clear: Should Senate Bill 3 reach my desk, I will veto it,” Governor Wolf said. “I am not threatening a veto out of partisanship, or due to some political back and forth. I am promising this veto to demonstrate that Pennsylvania will not play games with women’s healthcare in our Commonwealth. Simply put, this legislation severely limits women’s ability to make informed and timely decisions about their own health care options. That is not the place of government.”
“Senate Bill 3 is an unwise, unscientific, unvetted, and unconstitutional bill,” said Representative Madeleine Dean. “It is dangerous and is anti-woman, seeks to take both the choice and the decision making away from a woman, her doctor and her family—and bizarrely puts critical medical decisions in the hands of the Pennsylvania legislature. All of this without so much as a hearing or consultation with experts and doctors.”
Senate Bill 3 proposes the most extreme restrictions on abortion in the country. It would ban abortions after twenty weeks except in the rarest of circumstances, leaving no exceptions for rape, incest, health or tragic fetal anomalies. The bill would also ban one of the safest methods of second trimester abortions, putting women at risk and taking crucial decisions about their medical care out of the hands of their trusted medical providers.
“This vote was based upon a bunch of quacks,” said Senator Art Haywood. “There’s no medical basis for the decisions a group of non-doctors have made. And they made this decision on behalf of Pennsylvania’s women without the input of those women or the doctors who serve them.”
The Pennsylvania Senate recently passed the bill, despite bi-partisan opposition, through committee and the floor in just three days with limited debate and no expert witnesses or public hearings. The bill now awaits action by the House of Representatives, where a similar version passed last session.
Governor and First Lady Wolf were joined today by women who have had to make devastating decisions about their pregnancies. If SB 3 were to be passed, women facing the same circumstances would be stripped of their right to make these personal, family decisions.
“I am grateful for the one element of control I had in an otherwise powerless situation: the decision to end our pregnancy and with it our son’s pain and suffering,” said Erica Goldblatt Hyatt. “This is the paradox, I learned, of being a mother: in my case, loving my son so deeply that it meant choosing to say goodbye. Though that choice rests on my heart every day, I know it was the right one for our family, and I am grateful to live in a State where our Governor supports the rights of women like me to make it, autonomously, with those who know and love her best.”
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