Remember when the Republican controlled Pennsylvania state House try to pass a mandatory ultrasound bill?
And remember when Governor Tom Corbett (R. PA) tried to claim that the bill wasn't invasive and that all women had to do was "just close her eyes"?The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is set to pass a bill that further restricts women’s health clinics and intimidates women seeking abortions. It’s House Bill 1077, it was introduced by Rep. Kathy Rapp of Warren County, it has 112 co-sponsors and is similar to a bill passed in Texas that is currently being partially-blocked by that state’s Supreme Court.
“I’m shocked at the people whose names are on this,” says Rep. Babette Josephs of Philadelphia, a strong supporter of abortion rights. “They assume—all of them—that women are either childish, frivolous, brainless, stupid or evil.”
The bill requires all women seeking an abortion get an ultrasound at least 24 hours before their procedure, believing perhaps if a woman is able to see an image of the fetus and hear a heartbeat, she will change her mind. Exceptions are provided in the cases of rape, incest, medical emergencies and for fetuses that are less than eight weeks along.
Oddly, the bill is named “The Women’s Right to Know Act” and according to its own language, requires “certain reports to be filed with the Department of Health; imposing administrative sanctions and criminal penalties; and providing for remedies.” - 10/7/11
Corbett even tried to claim that the bill wasn't invasive:
Even though the bill clearly is invasive and is a big wet kiss for anti-abortion lobbyists:
Well it's no wonder Corbett's approval ratings are in the tank. Along with a number of other issues like his handling of the Penn State sex scandal while as Attorney General and his efforts to privatize the lottery. Well Corbett is out on a mission to reshape his image before the 2014 Governor's race and he's doing so by defending his idiotic and insensitive comments. On Thursday, Corbett went on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s “The Dom Giordano Show”:A recent analysis by a good-government nonprofit of the mandatory-ultrasound bills popping up around the country confirms that state Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean), the legislator who introduced Pennsylvania’s mandatory-ultrasound bill, is carrying water for anti-abortion lobbyists.
Rapp’s disingenuous justification for HB 1077, titled the Woman’s Right-to-Know Act, wasn’t exactly a secret. (The legislator went into a frightful tailspin under the diplomatic-but-direct fire of Marty Moss-Coane’s questions on her recent appearance WHYY’s Radio Times. More on that in a minute.)
But the D.C.-based Sunlight Foundation, through text analysis, has proved that 13 ultrasound bills almost exactly match the language used in model legislation written by Americans United for Life (AUL), a big-time anti-choice lobbying organization. Model legislation is essentially a wish list that lobbyists craft and deliver to their legislators in the hopes that their “model” becomes real law. Legislators are not obliged to reveal the source of their bill.
From the Sunlight Foundation:
“Kristi Hamrick, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Americans United for Life, confirmed that the group authored a model bill, titled “The Woman’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act” that appears to have been the inspiration for a number of the bills currently under consideration. A Sunlight Foundation analysis that uses technology called SuperFastMatch shows the AUL bill has instances of text matching with all 13 bills to which we compared it.” - Philadelphia Weekly, 3/9/12
Here's what potential 2014 Gubernatorial candidate, Congresswoman Allyson Scwatz (D. PA-13), had to say about Corbett's comments at the time:“I don’t know why people would call it a war on women,” he told the Philadelphia-based Giordano. “We do not have a war on anybody.”
When asked about the bill then, he made like it was no big deal. “I’m not making anybody watch, OK,” he said, in a video circulated by PA Independent, “because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.”
Corbett addressed that comment and the outrage it caused while on Giordano. “Other than one comment that was taken completely out of context and didn’t draw any attention back when there was a bill under consideration,” the governor continued. “There’s no other comments that I have said about women out there.”
The governor became a huge party liability from the point of that comment on, with everyone from U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz to President Barack Obama hitting him for political points during the campaign season.
“[The recent comments] just speak to how out of touch he is with women in Pennsylvania and people in Pennsylvania,” says Mark Nicastre, communications director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “This is a pretty good example, and there are many others, that he just doesn’t understand that what he’s saying has consequences.” - Philadelphia Weekly, 3/22/13
Keystone Politics points out that Corbett's defense of his comments only make him look worse:“Mitt Romney’s top Pennsylvania supporter, Governor Corbett, again dismissed concerns over the mandatory ultrasound bill – insisting that this unnecessary medical procedure is ‘not invasive at all’ and that ‘you can’t make someone watch.’ It is no surprise that Mitt Romney is ‘extraordinarily proud’ of Corbett’s endorsement, since he is campaigning on a platform that would be damaging to women across the country,” she said. “Romney wants to ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood, a vital health care provider for millions of women; thinks that Roe v. Wade should be overturned; supports the Blunt Amendment that would hand women’s health decisions over to their bosses; and can’t say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. We can’t afford for our governor, and certainly not a presidential candidate, to be this dismissive of women’s health.” - Philadelphia Weekly, 5/3/12
Corbett's defense of his dumb comments clearly makes him look out of touch and proves that he is nothing but a foot soldier in the GOP's War On Women. Issues like the mandatory ultrasound bill are sure to motivate women voters in Pennsylvania come out to the polls in large droves next year. Especially of Schwartz is the nominee. Prior to becoming a member of congress, Schwartz worked as assistant director of the Philadelphia Health Services Department from 1972 to 1975, and executive director of the Elizabeth Blackwell Center, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia, from 1975 to 1988. In 1988, she was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. She has been one of the strongest voices for women's health and abortion rights in congress and her juggernaut campaign finance director, Aubrey Montgomery, was Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Pennsylvania:Corbett is saying that you can’t literally force anybody look at the printout from the forced ultrasound you just gave them, even though the bill says the doctor has to note what the patient’s eyes were doing when shown the printout. He’s defending a narrow part of the bill – whether or not women should have to look at the printout from the forced ultrasound. But he apparently finds it uncontroversial that women should be forced to get the ultrasound in the first place, and doesn’t seem to understand why women would object to forced penetration by the state as long as they don’t have to look at the picture. - Keystone Politics, 3/22/13
Schwartz wants to make the 2014 Governors' Race about Pennsylvania's economy but I don't doubt that women's health issues are going to play a big role in this race. Especially since Schwartz could very well become Pennsylvania's first female Governor. 2014 will be a big year for Democrats to get rid of right-wing Republican governors who are backed by the Koch Brothers and ALEC. Corbett is far the most vulnerable Republican governor and this will be the biggest governor race of the 2014 election cycle.With more than a decade of experience in both candidate and political non-profit fundraising, Aubrey is an expert at executing political finance plans, coaching candidates, state and federal fundraising compliance, and managing finance staff. She has a wealth of knowledge about targeting and soliciting potential donors, methods and means for maximizing contributions, as well as how to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions about fundraising.
Aubrey has worked on dozens of local, state, and federal races throughout the country as well as several political issue campaigns. She served previously as Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Pennsylvania, led the campaigns of State Senator Daylin Leach, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and Bryan Lentz’s top-targeted campaign for Congress. Aubrey, a Philadelphia native, is currently the finance director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and serves on the national faculty for the Center for Progressive Leadership, The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and the New Leaders Council. - Democracy For America Training Team
If you're a Pennsylvania resident and would like to get involved in the 2014 Governor's race, you can sign up with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party: