The Pennsylvania House approved a bill on Tuesday preventing coverage for most abortions under the insurance marketplace being set up as part of the federal health care overhaul in the state.
During hours of heated debate, Democratic opposition to the measure characterized it as a needless risk to women’s health. Rep. Brian Sims (D) gave a scathing speech about personal responsibility and freedom in the course of speaking out against this legislation that restricts a woman’s right to an abortion and access to health care by putting government restrictions on private insurance companies.
“This legislation is about advancing an ideology of oppression and suppression, even if such a plan means ignoring the oath of office that each of us swore. As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, I do believe this has been forgotten entirely by many of my colleagues today: Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”
Rep. Sims followed up on his Facebook page after the vote, posting in part:
“We need as many people as possible, not just Pennsylvanians, to call and write to our Republican House and Senate Leaders and tell them that forcing private insurance companies to stop selling private insurance to women in order to exercise their own Constitutional Rights at their own expense doesn’t make sense even under a conservative ideology!”
You can watch his speech below from the Pennsylvania House YouTube page: