In a clear victory for pro-lifers, HB 818, which clearly prohibits the taxpayer supported insurance plans created under the federal health care exchange from covering elective abortions, is heading to Governor Tom Corbett’s desk after passing both the House and Senate.

The pro-life governor will assuredly sign the bill. The Senate considered amendments that would have significantly weakened HB 818 but pro-life legislators defeated them (including a number of Democrats.)

“The Senate took a stand in support of the dignity of human life. I applaud the efforts of the sponsors of this legislation, Representative Oberlander and Senator White. I also appreciate the senators who voted across party lines in support of life, namely Senators Kasunic and Solobay,” said Dr. Robert J. O’Hara, Executive Director of the PA Catholic Conference.

Archbishop Chaput released this statement on the bill’s passage:

Pennsylvanians can be pleased that House Bill 818 has passed the full state senate and is headed to Governor Corbett for signature. The legislation wisely prohibits taxpayer funded insurance plans created by the federal healthcare exchange from covering elective abortions. Abortion is violence of the most intimate sort. It has nothing to do with sound medical care, and people shouldn’t be forced to fund it.

I’m grateful to the legislators who had the courage to take a stand for the dignity of human life and to all who encouraged them to do so.

Much work remains to be done. The effort to protect and promote a culture of life will be ongoing. May God deepen our commitment to advancing the dignity of women and their children — born and unborn.