On Tuesday we mentioned a roundtable last week that Planned Parenthood had with several Democrat lawmakers, as well as Governor Shapiro. 

The roundtable featured Planned Parenthood’s national president, Alexis McGill Johnson, as well as each regional leader in Pennsylvania. The Planned Parenthood staff took the seats of the legislators, while the legislators were in the guest’s seats. Talk about making a statement! 

But this was not in appearance only. Here are some of the top moments from the discussion:

  1. “We couldn’t do this without you.” This was shared by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates Executive Director, Signe Espinoza, at the beginning of the discussion. She shared how she called Sen. Cappelletti, a former Planned Parenthood employee, for help as soon as they found out the Planned Parenthood national president was coming. There was no hiding the comfortable relationship Planned Parenthood has with some legislators and their influence at the State Capitol. 
  2. Lancaster Planned Parenthood only opened due to health and safety exemptions. Planned Parenthood Keystone president, Melissa Reed, shared difficulties that they had in opening up a Lancaster location due to not being able to meet the commonsense clinic regulations that were applied after Kermit Gosnell and his House of Horrors. Specifically, they weren’t able to find a local hospital that would give them admitting privileges. This allows for streamlined care when a woman experiences complications from an abortion – especially when time is precious. 

This should have stopped them from opening a new location – but Reed shared that, despite a large letter-writing campaign where thousands of Lancaster residents shared their concerns, the PA Department of Health gave Planned Parenthood an exemption for this health and safety regulation, putting Planned Parenthood’s profits over the care of patients. She said that the Department of Health “worked closely with” Planned Parenthood to provide them with waivers. 

  1. “Never an emergent situation with a medication abortion.” This completely false statement also came from Melissa Reed, as she was downplaying the harms that come from chemical abortions. 

According to Melanie Israel from the Heritage Foundation: “Abortion pills aren’t safe. Mifepristone is associated with 28 deaths, thousands of serious adverse events, and more than 500 life-threatening complications—that we know of, due to weak state and federal reporting requirements.” 

  1. “We’re legislators, but we’re still advocates, we just got the inside scoop.” This was said by Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes (D-Pittsburgh), who was praised by Planned Parenthood for her work. It is clear where her priorities and loyalties lie. 
  2. “Honestly they look like predator vans to me.” Planned Parenthood National President, Alexis McGill Johnson, made that remark when talking about mobile units that pregnancy care centers use to offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and counseling. These provide quality medical care in areas where women may have limited or no other access. It’s clear that Planned Parenthood doesn’t want women to be empowered with information about their baby and their options.

We’ve seen how powerful these can be. A Harrisburg woman was out for a walk that day and discovered the mobile ultrasound unit without knowing anything about it or the PA March for life. She stood observing it for some time, and eventually decided to talk to the team operating the unit. 

She was welcomed in, given private counseling, a pregnancy test, and an ultrasound. The woman told unit staff that the baby’s father was pressuring her to have an abortion and asked for them to pray that she would have courage to keep the baby. She then made an appointment with a local pregnancy center for the very next day!

These just skim the surface of everything covered at this revealing roundtable with Planned Parenthood and some of our lawmakers. 

We will continue to be your eyes and ears at the Capitol.