WLP Statement: Why We Strongly Oppose Senate Bill 3

PENNSYLVANIA–The Women’s Law Project strongly opposes Senate Bill 3, which passed the state House Health Committee last night by a vote of 16-10, along partisan lines.

“Pennsylvania politicians just advanced an unconstitutional bill that seeks to throw doctors in jail for providing standard medical care for their patients,” says WLP Senior Staff Attorney Susan J. Frietsche. “They are using discredited junk science to justify it, and repeatedly refusing testimony from real doctors, or their constituents. Anyone not seriously alarmed at both the goal and the process here is not paying attention.”

By criminalizing D&E, a common and safe medical procedure, for no medical reason, SB3 mandates substandard care for women. By criminalizing all pregnancy termination after 19 weeks for no medical reason, SB3 would force doctors to refuse standard medical care for patients facing crisis pregnancies, forcing them to carry unviable pregnancies to term, against their will and despite increased likelihood of infection and medical complications.

Surely politicians so determined to interfere with medical decisions of Pennsylvania families know that severe fetal abnormalities are typically detected after 19 weeks.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Physicians for Reproductive Health strongly oppose this bill.  Rep. Matt Baker, who supports the bill, cited the support of the “Christian Medical and Dental Association.” The mission statement of this group is “to glorify God.”

The mission of the Pennsylvania Legislature should be to protect and promote the health and economic security of Pennsylvania families.

Clearly, it is not: Many of the lawmakers supporting Senate Bill 3 have stonewalled repeated legislative efforts to protect pregnant workers and nursing mothers in the workplace, enable Pennsylvanians to earn a livable wage and indeed, even legislation designed to reduce infant mortality by increasing breastfeeding rates.

Here are more facts on Senate Bill 3.

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To request an interview with a WLP attorney, contact Tara Murtha at tmurtha@womenslawproject.org or 215-928-5762.

Founded in 1974, the Women’s Law Project is a public interest legal organization devoted to advancing and protecting the rights of women and girls.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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