House Democratic Leaders Blast Last-minute Effort to Politicize Women’s Access to Abortion, Implement Voter ID
HARRISBURG, July 8 -- Pennsylvania House Democratic Leaders released the following statement regarding Republican lawmaker’s last-minute attack on Pennsylvania women and voters before breaking for the summer recess:
While Pennsylvanians waited for the General Assembly to negotiate an overdue state budget, instead of focusing on the most pressing task, Senate Republicans used the time to advance a plan to attack a woman’s access to reproductive care and implement a duplicative and discriminatory Voter ID measure -- among other controversial items.
Too often, legislative rules are abused when lawmakers don’t want the public to be informed. While we oppose this overly complex and expansive measure on its merits, we especially disapprove of the forceful, last-minute push to ram through Senate Bill 106, without a single public hearing, alongside the state budget.
Today’s debate is part of the Republicans’ ill-conceived “constitutional amendment” approach to governing used to sidestep the checks and balances of our state government. It is a misuse of the amendment process.
Republicans insist that this measure is a narrow limitation on a woman’s access to abortion and that it returns decision-making to the people – however, nothing could be farther from the truth. This measure is intended to create a vehicle to criminalize abortion. After the overturning of Roe, state-level protections are more important than ever, and we believe that our state constitution is meant to protect our rights, not restrict them. Our caucus will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to critical reproductive care.
The right to vote is at the core of our national identity, the foundation of our democracy, and a right so sacred that generations of Americans have fought and died to gain access to the ballot box. However, that right is again under attack in Pennsylvania. Republicans want to impose a barrier to voting that would disproportionately disenfranchise low income, urban and elderly voters. Voter ID is a costly, duplicative and bureaucratic waste of time, and is a solution to a non-existent problem.