Monday, the Pennsylvania State House passed HB 1058, the perinatal hospice bill, with a vote of 116-76 (mostly on party lines), sending it to the Senate. Thank you to Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), the prime sponsor, and the other representatives who co-sponsored and voted for this legislation.
This bill should have received unanimous support. Why? Because it provides more choices for pregnant women.
HB 1058 requires information to be given to a woman on the option of perinatal hospice care after her unborn child is diagnosed with a direcondition. Further, the Department of Health will be responsible for making this information available, which will include a list of perinatal hospice programs in the Commonwealth. You can find a list here. New programs are being added all the time.
As some background, perinatal hospice is a model of support for parents who choose to continue their pregnancies following a prenatal diagnosis indicating that their baby has a dire condition and might die before or shortly after birth. Perinatal hospice is provided from the time of diagnosis through the baby’s birth and death. As prenatal screening and diagnostic methods continue to advance, increasingly more fetal anomalies are being detected at an early stage in pregnancy and more families are finding themselves in this heartbreaking situation. Unfortunately, many times, women and their families are not presented with the option of perinatal hospice, but only advised to abort their child.
This bill passed out of the State House Health Committee on a party line vote. Why did the Democrat members of the committee, those who claim to be “pro-choice,” vote against such a bill? Because it is an alternative to abortion. One representative admitted that she had never heard of perinatal hospice before. Well, isn’t that a reason to vote in favor of the bill?
Thank you again to the representatives who supported HB 1058, and we will pray for victory in the senate as well.