Pa. House Health Committee Hearings provide real dialogue from both sides

CHAMBERSBURG – Any time the Pennsylvania House Health Committee would pass legislation to the House, some of which could be pro-life issues, people from the left would say there had been no hearings on the topic.

So, Kathy Rapp, chairwoman for the Pa. House Health Committee, figured it was time for some hearings.

And the results have been refreshingly bipartisan.

There have been hearings about fetal development. Hearings about abortion. Hearings about counseling for mothers that have unborn children that have disabilities.

State Representative Paul Schemel discussed the hearings this morning on First News.

“We’re going to hear it all,” Schemel said. “That’s what you want and we’ll let you bring your witnesses and we’ll bring ours. We had our first set of hearings. We had five doctors testify. One of them was an abortionist. Another one was someone who does prenatal surgery who was very supportive of abortion. The other three doctors were very pro-life. They were good hearings. We heard the truth.”

Schemel continued, “I’m not an emotional guy. Just ask my wife. She’s not an emotional woman so we’re a great match. We definitely deeply care. And we definitely deeply care about this issue. We had beautiful testimony from an OBGYN who talked about fetal development and she talked about counseling women that have prenatal diagnosis where their unborn child has some terrible disease that maybe means that they will have a handicap or maybe that they will not live.

“There was not a dry eye amongst Republicans or Democrats when she was finished testifying about the privilege of caring for these tiny babies for as long as the mother can care for them and if they don’t survive she said that’s tragic but you will know and the mother knows that she has cared and done everything for this child and not been the result of that child’s death and it was beautiful testimony.”

Both sides were brought to the table and both sides were heard – it was a real dialogue.

Schemel said. “I tell my friends who are conservatives, we have to always engage. We shouldn’t be afraid of discussion. One of my criticisms right now of the left is they will not engage. If you have a different opinion on anything, they do not want to engage. They want to shut down your end of the discussion and say your views are so horrible they shouldn’t even be discussed. But that’s just shutting down discussion. You should always engage. Whatever your political affiliation or thoughts on issues, you should always engage.”