Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai is patting himself on the back now that the most important needs of the state have been addressed this legislative session. Among them? A new TRAP law to inhibit access to reproductive health clinics, and a voter ID law that is expected to help presidential candidate Mitt Romney win the state.
Via Politics PA:
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“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.”
The statement drew a loud round of applause from the audience. It also struck a nerve among critics, who called it an admission that they passed the bill to make it harder for Democrats to vote — and not to prevent voter fraud as the legislators claimed.
“Instead of working to create jobs and get our economy back on track, Mike Turzai and the Republicans in Harrisburg have been laser focused on a partisan agenda that simply helps their donors and political allies,” said PA Dems spokesman Mark Nicastre.
Just as the voter ID law was obviously a partisan move made not to address a problem but cut off voting access, the TRAP legislation was proposed under the guise of women’s health and safety when in reality it was an attempt to limit her right to chose. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes:
as evidenced by its onerous provisions, the point of Act 122 was clearly to punish all providers of abortion for the sins of one renegade operation. Lawmakers opposed to abortion sought to put clinics to great expense and, if any were driven out of business, that would be a bonus.
The good news for those who regard abortion as a necessary legal right for women is that only one small clinic appears to have closed since the bill’s passage. The remaining 22 providers have been told by the state Department of Health that they have an extra six months to comply with the law.
That is reasonable, but that six-month leeway serves to preserve the pretext that the law was reasonable to start with. It wasn’t.
Turzai would simply say “done.”