Turzai Says Voter ID Meant to Win State For Romney

In a moment of candor during a speech to fellow Republicans Rep. Mike Turzai said the Voter ID bill was designed to make Pennsylvania winnable for Mitt Romney.  Touted publicly as a cure for non-existent voter impersonation it will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $10 million to disenfranchise Democrats.  PoliticsPA has the story:

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Isn’t lying on the House floor an ethics violation?  If not it should be and should be cause for censure or expulsion.  When Representatives and Senators willfully lie and fabricate arguments while passing legislation they should be expelled from office.  It is a stain on all of us when the likes of Mike Turzai get up to speak in OUR hallowed hall and lie to us about what they’re doing.

He also revealed they lied about Senate Bill 732 the ambulatory surgical center abortion bill.  We’ve said all along this was back door legislation to outlaw abortion.  His quote ” First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years” reveals it for what it was:  pro life, anti-abortion legislation.  By making onerous regulations impossible or financially impossible to meet they are banning abortions in Pennsylvania for most women.  Even if clinics could retrofit the cost would make abortions unaffordable for anyone but the wealthy.  

Lying to the citizens of Pennsylvania on either the House or Senate floors should be a crime.

Tom Corbett’s Pennsylvania Death Spiral

Gov. Corbett froze salaries of state workers and cut $160 million in state spending due to tax revenue shortfalls.  The revenue declines are due to his budget which slashed state spending and cost tens of thousands of jobs.  After insisting school teachers accept salary freezes last year the Governor finally did the same for his employees though a year later.

Corbett has sent Pennsylvania into an economic death spiral due to his refusal to raise revenues.  Instead he has cut jobs which is reducing revenues even more.  If a 100,000 fewer Pennsylvanians are working that means 100,000 of us can’t pay income taxes on non-existent income, can’t buy things and pay sales taxes and so forth.  It’s no surprise tax revenues went from being $500,000 ahead of estimates when Corbett took office to $500,000 in the red after his first year.  That’s a $1 billion turnaround and it’s directly due to his policies.

The Governor ran on a platform of creating jobs and not raising any taxes.  The Marcellus shale industry is booming from his refusal to make them pay for extracting OUR natural resources while destroying our roads and environment.  The absence of these revenues on top of his efforts to throw people out of work and off medical coverage is sending Pennsylvania into a dangerous period.  Each time he cuts spending to offset the revenue losses he reduces revenues more.

This causes an economic death spiral:  spending is constantly cut as revenues decline making them decline even more, meaning more spending has to be cut.  Combine that with his signing of SB 732 which in six months will have him sued by abortion providers and more spending will have to be cut to pay for that litigation.  So far Kansans have spent $400,000 trying to defend their similar law.  Those dollars will have to come from somewhere because this stubborn Governor, who is obviously out of his depth, has lost touch with reality.

Corbett Signs Abortion Ban Bill

Gov. Tom Corbett signed SB 732 yesterday meaning abortions in Pennsylvania will cease being available in six months.  That is when the bill goes into effect mandating that every women’s clinic providing abortion services meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical facilities.  The new rules require 400 square foot operating rooms, elevators capable of carrying gurneys, wide hallways, parking for ambulances, registered nurses working full time instead of only on days when abortions are provided, and other expensive, impossible to meet guidelines.  Few clinics can even meet these regulations which are designed for facilities using general anesthesia.

The entire intent of this bill was to outlaw legal, safe abortions in the Commonwealth.  If it was about women’s health, as conservatives argued, it would never have passed because it wil result in illegal, back alley clinics similar to Gosnell.  Women will die at the hands of back alley butchers operating in unhealthy conditions, in unregulated, uninspected and unlicensed centers.  Planned Parenthood will have to cease performing safe, legal abortions, something which is a legal medical procedure.  Then Pennsylvania taxpayers will begin paying for litigation until the law is declared unconstitutional which it clearly is.  The people of Kansas have now paid over $400,000 when they passed a similar law.  In Texas abortion clinics closed or stopped providing reproductive choices for women.  Lawmakers in Harrisburg knew very well what they were doing.  Legislators such as Margo Davidson were either delusional or liars.  As tragic as her family’s tragedy was now she is condemning other, countless families to the same fate.

Planned Parenthood issued this statement:

Planned Parenthood Statement on Politically-motivated Abortion Law

Despite the call for a veto from many health care providers and medical professional organizations and media outlets, like the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Governor Corbett signed Senate Bill 732.  Numerous health care providers, including dozens of hospitals, doctors, and victim’s advocate groups, opposed the bill. The new law was supported only by organizations opposed to legal abortion. No physicians, nurses, or others in the medical field were consulted in the drafting of the law.

Today Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates Executive Director Sari Stevens released the following statement in response to the new law:

“Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit health care provider with a longstanding record of providing exceptional patient care.  One in five American women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in their lives for professional, non-judgmental and confidential care.

“It is extremely disappointing that Governor Corbett signed this politically-motivated bill into law.  Make no mistake, this new law has everything to do with politics. The individuals and organizations that pushed Senate Bill 732 want to end all access to legal abortion care, without exception.  But whether for an unintended pregnancy or a devastating diagnosis during pregnancy, there is a need for physicians and licensed medical professionals to provide safe and compassionate abortion care in Pennsylvania.”

“In Pennsylvania alone, 120,000 patients each year count on Planned Parenthood to provide them with a wide range of preventive care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, well woman exams and prevention and treatment of STDs, and abortion care.  We are in the process of evaluating the law and are determining next steps to continue our work to keep women healthy.

Corbett Lies About Abortion Bill

Gov. Corbett’s office was telling callers yesterday that he couldn’t veto SB 732 because there weren’t enough votes to sustain his veto.  There are.  Eighteen Senators voted against the bill which would close 22 free standing abortion clinics, enough to sustain a veto.  There are only two possible scenarios to explain this action by the Governor:

* he’s too stupid to do basic math

* he’s intentionally lying to people calling his office

Neither situation reflects well on Corbett.  Here’s my question to the Governor:  which is it?

You can call the Governor and ask him through this number:  717-496-9866.

State House Voting to Ban Abortion

The Pennsylvania House is currently debating SB 732.  This would require all abortion clinics to be regulated as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.  This would eliminate safe, legal abortions in Pennsylvania because of the huge expense required to meet those criteria.  For example this means having elevators capable of carrying gurneys, full time RN’s, wide hallways and such.  None of these are needed for safe abortion practices.  Requiring surgical centers using local anesthesia (abortion clinics) with the same requirements as those using general anesthesia (ASF) is unnecessary.  No medical provider supports this bill.  Social workers, domestic violence and rape centers oppose it and doctors oppose it.

What this bill is about is the banning of abortion.  It is a back door which is clearly unconstitutional and something which will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers.  Litigation will be introduced as soon as harm from this bill is caused and Pennsylvanians will bear the burden of those legal costs.  Kansas has already lost $400,000 due to similar litigation.

This bill was drafted as a result of the horrors of the Gosnell clinic.  Ironically it will result in more Gosnells as safe, legal, regulated and inspected clinics stop performing abortions.  If it costs a clinic $1,000,000 to renovate unnecessarily in order to comply the cost of abortions will become unaffordable for many women.  Of course rich women would still be able to afford having reproductive choice and they could travel to seek that care.

The logic behind using the Gosnell example as reason to close all abortion providers is ludicrous.  According tot hat logic we should close all charities because of Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile abuses.

Let’s remember that abortions are legal medical care in this country.  If government decides it can interfere in your personal health care decisions then why not pass universal, single payer health care?

Mike Turzai is trying to use this and other extreme legislation as a launching pad for his upcoming Congressional campaign.  He has the Republican caucus up in arms over trying to ram through his fringe agenda before Christmas.

Update:  The bill passed 151-44 meaning many Democrats voted to doom women to back alley butchers.  Ironically even Margo Davidson, whose cousin died as a result of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, voted to kill more women that way.