Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims gave an impassioned speech this week on the state House floor, opposing legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless deemed absolutely necessary, the Friendly Atheist reports.
Sims, an attorney, was speaking out against House Bill 1948, which would limit the abortion ban to 20 weeks instead of the current 24 weeks. It would also sharply curtail the use of the often-safest abortion technique for mothers after the first trimester, known as “dilation and evacuation,” PennLive reports.
Under the new law, it would be re-termed “dismemberment abortion” and banned except in cases where the mother is at risk of dying or having severe impairments as a result of not having it.
“I implored you then as I do now — as an attorney, as a civil rights advocate, and as a legislator that has sworn to uphold the Constitution and not the Bible or any other religious document — to see this legislation for what it actually is,” Sims told state lawmakers. “An end around the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution that is beneath this body.”
He added, “This legislation does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to fill schools, to alleviate economic or financial pressures. It doesn’t fund our infrastructure, support our small businesses, or create a better future for the Commonwealth. What this bill does is attack the very citizens and voters who created this government.”
Sims then told the story of a woman who was forced to get an abortion at the 20-week mark because the fetus had catastrophic and deadly birth defects that essentially closed off the trachea from the rest of the body, causing the body to swell.
“Legislators like each of us in this room have absolutely no business making personal medical decisions for other people,” Sims implored. “Virtually every person in this room has had to make a major medical decision for themselves or for a loved one. Now imagine having to come here. Each of you, imagine having to stand at this podium and implore this room to allow you to make a personal medical decision for yourself or for a loved one.”
Watch the video, as posted to YouTube, here: