Why I heart Daylin Leach

Here are Senator Daylin Leach’s remarks on the Vance Amendment to HB818. This is why I really, really want to see him elected to Congress:

I rise to indicate that I will be voting “no” on the Vance Amendment.

I will not be voting “no” for what I consider to be the irrational reasons some of my colleagues are voting “no.” I am voting “no” because this bill codifies in law the idea, which is already part of other laws, that taxpayer funds should not be used for abortion services.

I disagree with that premise. I believe that taxpayer dollars should be used for abortion services.

Abortion is a legal, constitutionally protected right, and it is health care that women do not just want – as we see by 40,000 abortions in Pennsylvania last year – but very often need. Need in order to protect their life. Need in order to protect their health.

When we say no taxpayer money – no Medicaid, no Medicare, no taxpayer money of any kind – will go to pay for abortion services, what we are saying is, “We are going to make abortion services unaffordable for poor women.”

What do we gain by making abortion services unaffordable for poor women? Women still need these services. Women still wind up in tragic situations. Women still wind up in desperate situations. Women still wind up in health and life-threatening situations. But without coverage for abortion services, they are forced to go to places where they can afford to get abortions, since they cannot afford to pay for the abortion themselves and they will not be able to purchase abortion insurance coverage on their own.

And what happens? Well we’ve seen, Mr. President, what happens in those cases. We saw recently the Gosnell case which gained national notoriety for the horrible conditions of the clinic women were forced to go to get services from Mr. Gosnell.

Now why would a woman choose to go to someone like Gosnell? Or even worse, why would a woman choose to go to a back alley? Why would a woman choose to go to someone unscrupulous? They would choose to do that, Mr. President, because they have no choice.

If they had the choice to go to a safe, legal facility where the services are covered by insurance and have an abortion in a way that was affordable, every woman who needed one would do that. Especially when a woman’s health is at risk.

What is she supposed to do, if she cannot get insurance coverage that includes abortions? (And that is what was defeated in the Schwank Amendment.) If she cannot get coverage that covers her abortion even if her health is at risk, what is she supposed to do?

This is a horrible dilemma that we have put women into.

If you have spent a good deal of time in your districts, or watching television, or reading the newspapers that were condemning the butchery of Gosnell – which I condemn as well – then you can not be for making it so that women have no choice.

You have to make it so women can get safe, legal abortions in this country, if that requires them to be covered by insurance, then that requires them to be covered. And if they get their health insurance from the government, as hundreds of thousands of women do in Pennsylvania, that’s where they have to get. This is health care, again, that women need.

Now, Mr. President, some will say, “Well you know, I don’t believe in abortion. Why should I have to pay my tax dollars for that?” But the fact is that we all have to pay tax dollars for things we don’t support. I was opposed to the Iraq War, I still had to pay for it. I am opposed to the death penalty, but my tax dollars still go to pay for the executions and the protocol – the hundreds of millions of dollars we spend every year on our machinery of capital punishment. I have been publicly opposed to some of the more insane manifestations of the War on Drugs. But we’re still spending 350 million dollars a year of tax dollars, – including my tax dollars – for that.

I understand this. I don’t complain about it. I oppose the policies, but once we make a democratic decision to have a policy, we all have to pay for that policy. So the idea that we don’t have to pay for things because we don’t like them is just not consistent with any other area of the law.

Mr. President, this policy – and I’m not speaking to the author of the amendment, I know what her intentions are and I respect them – but the broader policy of saying, “we’re just going to do everything we can to deny women, (mostly poor women) access to this procedure which they need” in many cases will end up killing women, Mr. President.

This is something that I do not know how we can have on our conscience. And so, I will oppose the Vance Amendment to make a statement. When my colleagues get up and say, “Well of course, God knows, we’re not going to have taxpayer dollars spent on abortion,” someone needs to question that underlying policy.

And that’s what I intend to do with my “no” vote.

Thank you Mr. President.

2 thoughts on “Why I heart Daylin Leach

  1. I hate abortions. That said I also believe that abortions should be limited, safe, affordable, legal and a part of any health care plan. I also hate war. And I can’t think of any reason to support a limited, affordable, legal(?) war. Or an affordable, legal execution.

  2. The 1% want to see everyone who’s not a member of their club die sooner rather than later. The American Taliban and republican party seem particularly interested in seeing poor women die, even if they have to legislate their execution. A marriage of belief systems made in hell.

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