Head of Planned Parenthood stops at Capitol, House postpones vote on abortion bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The debate over a new abortion bill at the Capitol is heated and emotional, and it has drawn the attention of the national head of Planned Parenthood.

“Politicians are the last people who should be making decisions about women’s pregnancies,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

“I think Cecile Richards coming to Harrisburg is very appropriate for her because she runs a business that kills more babies throughout the United States than any other organization,” said Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Richards held a news conference denouncing House Bill 1948 hours before the House was set to vote on the measure that would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks and criminalize procedures that cause the deaths of fetuses by removing body parts.

“I am here today to support the women of Pennsylvania who would suffer if this law were put in place,” Richards said.

Three women shared stories of abortions they had after 20 weeks because their babies had severe birth defects and were not expected to live.

“After days of crying, researching, soul searching, no sleep, and a pain in my heart that would not stop, we decided to terminate so [our baby] would not be subjected to pain and suffering,” Karen Agatone of Doylestown said. “We loved her enough to let her go and be in peace.”

“I never had a choice for the spontaneous development of my son’s syndrome,” Erica Goldblatt-Hyatt of Montgomery County said. “I, at least, was allowed the decision to spare him an existence of prolonged pain or worse, and for that choice, I am grateful, grateful and grieving until the day I die.”

By Monday afternoon, the House postponed the vote on House Bill 1948.

“This is such an extreme intrusion of politicians being involved in the most personal private decisions about pregnancy that women and families make and it has no place in the Legislature,” Richards said.

“She sees her business is going to be cut into if this bill passes and she wants to protect her business,” Ciccocioppo said. “That’s the reason she is here. She doesn’t care about women, she doesn’t care about babies, she cares about the abortions that are done at Planned Parenthood and the money they make off of it and that is why she is here.”

Governor Tom Wolf says he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

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