So You Wanna Stop SB 3 From Becoming Law? Here’s How We Do It!

Democrat Bill Kortz (center) leaving closed door "Pro-Life" caucus meeting

Pennsylvania Republicans just rushed one of country’s most restrictive and least transparent abortion bans through the Senate chamber with a 32-18 vote.  The bill fell one vote short from obtaining a veto-proof majority, and it now moves to the House where Republicans will try to capture the same symbolic veto-proof majority.  However, the state legislature is on break for the next six weeks and there are two actions you can take to stop Senate Bill 3 in its tracks.

The first action you must take is to download the Indivisible Guide and read it inside and out.  It’s a “how to” guide on effectively engaging your local elected officials, whether through citizen lobbying or downright protesting and causing a scene.  The guide was published by former Congressional staffers after Donald Trump won the electoral college, and it outlines the tactics the Tea Party used to go after Obama and other Democrats leading up to the 2010 midterms.  After you become familiar with the guide, which a lot of people already have, then take those lessons from the Indivisible Guide and turn up the heat on the 21 House Democrats and Democratic leaders who nearly gave Republicans a veto-proof majority on this bill in the previous legislative session.  This is a line in the sand and it is our responsibility to let these Democrats know that there will be repercussions if they vote for this bill a second time around.

Since Donald Trump’s electoral college victory, The Resistance has rooted itself in Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are in a state of permanent protest.  Vigils and solidarity marches supporting women’s rights and immigrant and refugee communities are bringing out record crowds in the “conservative” parts of the Commonwealth.  And movements such as Tuesdays with Toomey and the Indivisible Movement are teaching people how to confront their legislators in a more abrasive fashion by taking demonstrations to elected officials and their offices.

Alissa Packer, an organizer from Tuesdays with Toomey’s Harrisburg chapter, spent the week following Senate Bill 3 through the upper chamber.  Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was the first time the newly minted activist ever attended a hearing.  Alissa, who is a biology professor at Susquehanna University, said that she was “really appalled by the language they were using, the lack of evidence being used to discus [Senate Bill 3] and, frankly, the Republicans insistence that there not be a public hearing to discuss the science behind what they were about to legislate.”  Packer goes on to say activists are beginning to focus on state politics and some are talking about running for office in upcoming elections.  She hopes to see more female candidates step up to the plate because “to listen to a bunch of, largely, old white men talk about what I can and cannot do with my physician is offensive.”

So which House Democrats should activists target?

First and foremost, they should target these three House leaders.  Minority Leader Frank Dermody, Minority Appropriations Chair Joe Markosek and Minority Whip Michael Hanna.  These three Democratic leaders have been in charge of the House Democrats for the past three election cycles and have all kept their leadership positions even though they lost seats in each of those elections.  In the previous legislative session, Representatives Markosek and Hanna both voted to ban all abortions after 20 weeks, and Republicans fell two votes shy of getting a veto-override majority.  If House Democrats give Republicans the near veto-proof majority they are seeking to potentially run this bill a second time, then these are the people who are directly responsible for not keeping their caucus in line.

Then there’s the other 19 House Democrats who voted for this bill the previous time.  A full list is below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Sean Kitchen 619 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
Contact: Twitter