On May 25, the Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed three pro-life bills: the Heartbeat Act (HB904), the Dignity for the Unborn Act (HB118), and the Down Syndrome Protection Act (HB1500).
“I was very pleased to be able to move these bills out of committee and onto the House floor,” Pennsylvania House Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp told The Epoch Times, “All human life is valuable.”
The Heartbeat Act would require all physicians to determine if there is a heartbeat before performing an abortion and immediately stop the procedure if the unborn child’s heartbeat is detected. A baby’s heartbeat typically can be detected as little as six to eight weeks into a pregnancy. The Unborn Child Dignity Act 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. The Down Syndrome Protection Act would prohibit the abortion of any child based solely on 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 gender of the child. The legislation also contains no restrictions on a mother obtaining an abortion in cases of rape, incest, or personal endangerment.
“I believe that our lives are precious. As the Declaration of Independence makes clear, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the United States. These are rights given to us by our creator,” Rapp said. As a mother of three children, with seven grandsons, she knows how precious life is. “When I was a young mother, I almost lost two young children at the time. So that really gave me a passion. Once you almost lose a child, it makes you look at things differently.”
Rapp said that “abortion is genocide” For example, she explained, “Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood very much believed in eugenics. And her sole purpose at the time, was to do away with the black race.”
Rapp said there are a lot of doctors in the United States who used to perform abortions but have gotten away from that, after what they’ve seen. “We had hearings in the Pennsylvania Health Committee, and we had doctors testify who used to do abortions and no longer do them.”
She believes the biggest threat to proponents of abortion may be that “more and more doctors and related medical professionals are no longer willing to perform genocidal abortion procedures, which is resulting in increasingly limited access and the closing of more abortion facilities.
In addition to moral issues, abortion has economic consequences as well. Rapp said, “Because of abortion, we see in China right now men cannot find wives, in the United States colleges are looking for students.” She continued, “We now have an economy that is like an inverted triangle, where there’s very few [young] people at the bottom and more people at the top. That becomes a huge economic burden.” She said she prays that more and more women will choose life.
Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, who initiated HB904, the Heartbeat Act, was excited to see the bill passed the House Health Committee by a 15-10 vote. “This is the strongest pro life legislation to pass the committee in Pennsylvania. To ban abortions from six weeks once a heartbeat is detected. So it’s a huge step.” She said, “Ultimately, I am fully accountable to Almighty God, the Author of Life, who’s word proclaims that he knew us before we were knitted together in our mother’s womb. Advancing House Bill 904 is all about raising awareness of the value of all human life and potentially driving another legislative dagger through the heart of Roe vs. Wade, which has made possible the murder of more than 61 million innocent babies since 1973.”
“I think as a society, we’ve walked away from our morals, our values, our principles, what God’s Word tells us about life,” Borowicz said. “We’ve become a selfish society that, if this is an inconvenience for you, or it might be hard for you, then get rid of it.”
About 31,000 babies’ lives were lost every year in Pennsylvania.
Borowicz was happy to see that “Texas just signed the Heartbeat Bill, and now they’re doing a bill (to ban abortion) from conception.” She wants to introduce a similar bill in Pennsylvania. “I’d love to also have a conception bill from the moment of conception for every baby’s life to be saved in Pennsylvania,” she said.
If HB904 is 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.