Bill to Limit Abortion Coverage in Pa. Advances
Republicans in the Pennsylvania House on Monday pushed out of committee a bill that would prevent most coverage for abortions under the health exchange in Pennsylvania being set up as part of the federal health care overhaul.
The Health Committee voted 15-9 in favor of the proposal that provides exceptions only for victims of rape and incest or when the mother’s life is in peril. One Democrat voted for it.
A Democratic sponsored amendment that would have added an exception for the mother’s health was defeated along party lines.
Committee chairman Matt Baker, R-Bradford, said the health exception would represent a substantial change from the state’s longstanding public policy that does not permit public funding of abortions under most circumstances.
He said the health exception amendment was too vague, as doctors’ “good faith clinical judgment” can be a subjective matter.
“I do not believe health care should include killing babies,” Baker said, drawing applause from some of his fellow GOP lawmakers. He argued the exchange will be supported with public money.