– State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., Democratic Whip, issued the following statement today upon the passage of H.B. 321:

“Unfortunately, with the passage of House Bill 321, it seems as though some legislators in the House who consider themselves pro-life are simply pro-birth. I say this because today we heard verbose speeches about the value of the life of a child born with Down syndrome, and make no mistake, there is abundant value in their life. The value of their life was never in question.

“However, when it comes to abortion, we have many legislators who are willing to stand up and shout their support for life from the rooftops. But where is that support when it comes to health care for children with disabilities? Where is that support when it comes to educational opportunities and assistance for children with disabilities? Where is that support when it comes to financial needs for children with disabilities?

“The hypocrisy of arguing to save someone’s life at conception but refusing to give that same life the quality education it deserves, the health care it needs, or the financial assistance its family finds essential is appalling. It’s disingenuous, spurious and misleading to call oneself pro-life and have that support end once the child is born.

“Any legislator who claims to be pro-life needs to be pro-life at every single stage of life, not just birth. They need to be pro-life and ensure every child in Pennsylvania has access to a proper education so they can achieve their highest goals. They need to be pro-life and speak out each and every time easy access to firearms ends the life of another friend or family member in our community. They need to be pro-life and stop trying to cut medical benefits to the unemployed or underemployed who rely on state benefits to stay as healthy as they can.

“The hypocrisy has to stop. I understand that this is a contentious issue, but I simply ask that anyone who considers themselves pro-life and votes in a pro-life stance, continue that stance for the entirety of someone’s life. Life doesn’t stop at birth. Pennsylvanians want real discussions about real issues that impact our lives every single day after birth, and I urge my colleagues to consider having those discussions rather than simply use the term pro-life as a political football.”