Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
GPPA Communication Team
Chris Robinson, 267-977-0570 and [email protected]
Tina Olson, [email protected]
Green Party Women Respond to PA Attack on Reproductive Rights
Since the beginning of Covid, the “Don’t Tread on Me” patriots have joked about masks, “Keep your laws off my body.” This bait-and-switch of a hijacked slogan took a turn for the worse on May 25 as a PA House committee passed three bills to legislate and incriminate people with uteruses. The offensive bills are, the Unborn Child Dignity Legislation (HB 118); the Heartbeat Bill (HB 904); and the Down Syndrome Protection Bill (HB 1500). Women of the Green Party responded in solidarity with protecting women’s right to choose.
Co-Chair of the Green Party of the U.S. Kristin Combs (Philadelphia) said, “I've grown to expect that even our most progressive state legislators only provide a levee between us and a dystopian future, but for three bills targeting reproductive rights to pass in one day is an extraordinarily reckless display of neglect.”
Co-chair of the Green Party of PA (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) Tina Olson (Lehigh Valley) said, “The Green Party stands with a person’s right to choose whether or not to sustain a pregnancy. In fact, we encourage our representatives to push past the patriarchy and to fund free birth control which would reduce unintended pregnancies. Unintended pregnancies and medically harmful pregnancies should not be forced to term. Doing so increases maternal morbidity, the overall well-being and balance of self determination.”
“While all women deserve access to safe, healthy abortions regardless of reason, legislators who write and vote for bills such as these fail to account for the multitude of reasons why women choose, or in some cases require, abortions,” explained GPPA Co-chair Beth Scroggin (Chester). “They do not recognize the 14-year-old who is pregnant by her own father, the widowed mother of four who works day and night to support the children she already has and cannot accommodate another, or the woman who desperately wants a baby but has discovered her current pregnancy endangers her life. Between one-in-three and one-in-four women has an abortion at some point in her life, each with her own reason. Our politicians need to work for ALL of us.”
While the media has been keen to keep us informed about the dickering between both major parties, they fail to use their power of sensational outrage when it comes to a true attempt to inhibit and prosecute people who become pregnant. Criminalizing medical procedures like terminating a pregnancy affects the health and welfare of an unfathomable amount of Pennsylvanians.
“I think the anti-abortion bills are horrendous considering how the same people pushing for these bills aren't willing to support women after childbirth and also aren't willing to make family planning tools like contraceptives more accessible and affordable,” said GPPA member Whitney Mariah Turnbull-Huggins (Lancaster). “It also hurts women who don't actually want abortions, but need them due to medical emergencies.”
Olivia Faison, Green Party 2020 candidate for PA Auditor General, pulled no punches on this topic, “What kind of governance have we foolishly voted for? Apparently, we have one that seizes the opportunity to kick its female population down even as we are all suffering with this pandemic.”
Olson agreed, saying, “The impact of Covid-19 on mothers and women has already negatively shifted our society’s progress towards a more equitable workforce. The disproportionate effect on people who are in their childbearing years and how this will play out in the future workforce is unknown. Mothers are still expected to be the primary caregivers and are often the secondary and lesser income earners. The expectations of having a successful career and being the perfect parent is only adding to pandemic maternal anxiety.”
“Punish, Punish, Punish!!” continued Faison, “Is that the only remedy that the government has? Why on earth would an elected lawmaker want to pass legislation that would ruin the lives of a family, and punish a woman to a life sentence for deciding what she wishes to do with HER OWN BODY? What a miserable and hateful thing to propose. Let's be fair and ask ourselves what would happen if that same life sentence were imposed on the men who wanted to have vasectomies on THEIR OWN BODIES?”
Olson concluded, “With both major parties in PA playing tit-for-tat -- like a never-ending game of table tennis where both sides are rewarded with millions of taxpayer dollars -- it’s increasingly difficult to be confident that any of our rights are safe. With mediocre responses by Democrats whose only solution is to fill their coffers at every turn while sliding further into the authoritarian and regressive policies that target the vulnerable among us, it’s become increasingly obvious that each of us needs to assess where we can affect change. If you are as worried as I am, please find a way to get involved. Moving forward, think about becoming a candidate, work on an electoral campaign, to flip our houses GREEN in 2022.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Please follow GPPA on social media:
For more information please see:
House Bill 118, An Act providing for the final disposition of fetal remains; and imposing penalties.
House Bill 904, An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in abortion, further providing for legislative intent, providing for fetal heartbeat examination, further providing for medical consultation and judgment, for abortion on unborn child of 24 or more weeks gestational age and for reporting.
House Bill 1500, Known as the Down Syndrome Protection Bill.
“Planned Parenthood Keystone Joins 19 PA Organizations To Issue Statement on Anti-Abortion Bills, May 25, 2021, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-keystone/who-we-are/newsroom/pa-sexual-and-reproductive-health-advocates-statement-on-anti-abortion-bills.
“COVID-19 recession is tougher on women,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2020, https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2020/beyond-bls/covid-19-recession-is-tougher-on-women.htm.
“Stress and Anxiety Levels in Pregnant and Postpartum Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, December 17, 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766953/.
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