Pennsylvania pro-life leaders criticized Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday for doing the bidding of the abortion industry by vetoing a health care expansion bill because it included a restriction on drug-induced abortions.
“This veto sends the disturbing message that women’s health will be compromised in order to placate the abortion industry,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.
Gallagher said Senate Bill 857 included important protections for mothers and unborn babies. The legislation would have expanded telemedicine to millions of Pennsylvanians in response to the coronavirus crisis. It included restrictions on telemedicine for high-risk drugs on the Food and Drug Administration Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy list, and abortion drugs are on the list.
Because of the restriction, Wolf promised his pro-abortion allies that he would veto the legislation, and, on Thursday, he did.
Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, said Wolf is putting abortion politics ahead of Pennsylvanians’ well-being.
“When Planned Parenthood wants a veto, Governor Tom Wolf gives it to them every time – no matter the impact on the health and well-being of Pennsylvania citizens,” Geer said.
Geer said Wolf not only rejected the health care expansion, he also showed his willingness to put women at risk by ignoring FDA safety guidelines for abortion drugs.
The abortion drug mifepristone is not safe for the mother or her unborn child. It has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications. Risks of mifepristone and misoprostol, the most common abortion drugs taken together to abort and then expel an unborn baby from the womb, include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection, hemorrhage and death.
A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20% for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6% for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.
Despite these risks, the abortion industry is pushing to expand telemed abortions. Instead of seeing a doctor in-person, women meet remotely over a webcam before the abortion drugs are dispensed from a remote-control drawer or by a staff member.
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These are dangerous for mothers as well as their unborn babies. In-person exams are important for dating the pregnancy; the abortion drugs do not work well later in pregnancy and potentially could lead to more complications. Exams also can detect ectopic pregnancies, which can be deadly on their own but especially so if the woman takes the abortion drugs.
Currently, 18 states ban telemed abortions and require abortion facilities to follow FDA guidelines.
Pro-life leaders were not the only ones urging Wolf to put abortion politics aside and support the health care expansion. Among the health organizations supporting the legislation was the Hospital and Healthsystem Association in Pennsylvania. In a statement, the organization said it supports the legislation “because of the progress it represents in establishing telemedicine’s rightful place at the forefront of the newly emerging health system of the future.”
Tom Shaheen, vice president for policy at Pennsylvania Family Institute, said the governor continues to show favoritism to the abortion industry above all others. He noted how Wolf recently restricted all elective surgeries during the coronavirus crisis but allowed elective abortions to continue.
“Now, once again, Governor Wolf denies Pennsylvanians expanded healthcare unless it allows abortion expansion. It’s incredibly sad that he’s chosen to hold good legislation hostage just to advance his pro-abortion politics,” Shaheen said.
Wolf is extremely close to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, having once been a volunteer. It spent a record $1.5 million to support his re-election in 2018.
Right now, Planned Parenthood is working to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions in Pennsylvania and other states. Last week, it announced plans to provide telemed services, including abortions, throughout the U.S. by the end of April.
For decades, abortion activists have claimed an abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor. But now they are trying to take doctors out of the equation – and putting more lives at risk.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. Tom Wolf.