Mar. 13, 2019

By State Rep. Bob Brooks
54th Legislative District

During the 2017-18 Pennsylvania legislative session, Sen. Michele Brooks sponsored Senate Bill 3, which would have lowered the gestational limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It also would have prohibited dilation and evacuation as a method of terminating a pregnancy except in limited circumstances and required a personal consultation with a physician who performs the abortion. Previously, the act was silent as to the mode of consultation. The legislation passed the General Assembly but sadly was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf in December 2017.

New abortion legislation has been the focus of controversy in both New York and Virginia recently. I find it very disheartening that these states are moving away from the values of protecting innocent life and protecting women in general. In New York, they tout the passing of the Reproductive Health Act as progress for women under the auspice of women's reproductive rights. They celebrate the new pro-abortion law that reduces the restrictions on abortion and removes it from the Penal Code. Under this New York law, killing an unborn child is no longer a homicide. Anthony Hobson, a New York resident charged with murdering his girlfriend who was 14 weeks pregnant, was also facing a charge of second-degree abortion until New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s new “Reproductive Health Act” into law.

Even more unconscionable is the bill proposed in Virginia to legalize late-term abortions up to the time of birth. Virginia governor Ralph Northam got himself into some hot water when he said on a radio interview regarding third trimester abortions “that if a woman were to desire an abortion as she's going into labor, the baby…!” He justified his remarks stating this applied to babies who would be born with severe birth defects. Is this a reproductive right or is this infanticide?

How can it be that abortion seems to have crossed over to no longer mean pre-birth but now, essentially, post-birth! In America, we have always protected the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Protecting innocent human life should extend to the unborn. A woman’s life does matter, especially those females still in the womb. On one hand, we have medical doctors and nurses fighting to save the lives of premature babies born at 24 weeks gestation, and on the other hand, we are debating if doctors should save the lives of babies born alive up to 37 weeks.

I will continue to be a voice for the unborn. Personally, I believe that life begins at conception, but I feel that a good place to start is to outlaw all abortions after the first trimester.

Representative Bob Brooks
54th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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