Hail Brian Sims!

Brian Sims, evidently rocking a sweet beard now, slammed Republicans yesterday for passing a bill out of the PA House that would ban women from buying private insurance plans that cover abortion on Pennsylvania’s new health insurance exchange:

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states have passed or introduced bills that would prohibit state-run health insurance exchanges from covering abortion in any of their plans. But Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims (D) attempted to halt such a bill in his state on Tuesday with a scathing speech about freedom and personal responsibility.

“This legislation is about advancing an ideology of oppression and suppression, even if such a plan means ignoring the oath of office that each of us swore,” Sims told his colleagues during a floor debate in the House of Representatives. “As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, I do believe this has been forgotten entirely by many of my colleagues today: Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”

Pennsylvania’s state House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to pass House Bill 818, which bans state insurance plans set up under the Affordable Care Act from offering abortion coverage. The bill’s Republican backers argued that it prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion.

Opponents of the bill contend that it would penalize poor women who cannot afford to access abortion, and would prevent women from using their own money to pay for an insurance plan that covers the procedure. Currently, more than 80 percent of private insurance plans cover abortion.

And actually, remember there is no Pennsylvania health insurance exchange, because Tom Corbett failed to create one. Where do these dudes get off trying to call the shots on what can and can’t be sold on the federal exchange?

(via Laura Bassett)

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