WASHINGTON — In the midst of a global pandemic and an unprecedented public health crisis, Pennsylvania Republicans still found the time to pursue one of their favorite pet projects: attacking reproductive rights.
GOP legislators approved an anti-choice amendment to a bill that would require insurers to cover telemedicine appointments, a crucial tool to ensure continuity of care during the coronavirus crisis. The amendment would effectively prevent Pennsylvanians from accessing reproductive health care. Because of Republicans’ poison pill, the bill passed the Senate today with all Democrats opposed; Governor Tom Wolf has pledged to veto it.
“Even in a pandemic, Republicans remain steadfast in their goal to slowly chip away at reproductive rights,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Jessica Post. “In a time when expanding health care is more important than ever, Republicans are once again putting their extremist agenda ahead of doctors and patients.”
The anti-choice legislative maneuver comes just days after Republicans voted to override Governor Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home measures, contradicting the advice of public health experts. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 34,751 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,576 deaths attributed to the infection in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they are not serious about dealing with this crisis. Just last week, the GOP challenged necessary public health measures and now they are playing partisan politics with people’s health care,” added Post. “Republican legislators would rather advance their partisan, anti-choice agenda than provide health care to their constituents.”