A Pennsylvania lawmaker is not backing down after a heated exchange in which he lambasted his state’s Republican delegation for pushing a “predictable misogynist agenda.”
State Representative Brian Sims, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor, spoke out against Bill 118, also known as the Unborn Dignity Act, on Wednesday. The controversial bill, introduced by State Representative Frank Ryan (R), would require medical providers to offer the option of burial or cremation after the loss of a pregnancy.
The bill passed 118-83 but, if approved by the Republican-led Senate, it will almost certainly be opposed to Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who heavily criticized it in interviews and on social networks.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Sims said being forced to “debate a bill that would never become law” was indicative of the “political theater that has plagued this chamber for far too long.”
The bill, he added, is just “another unnecessary overshoot in a grossly and predictably misogynistic program – a program pursued by a 100% white party, in a 70% male chamber. “.
Sims’ comments drew boos from GOP lawmakers, and soon after, House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler cut the Democrat’s microphone. Images of the speech quickly made the rounds on Twitter and by Thursday afternoon had been viewed over 83,000 times and featured by The Advocate and Insider, among others.
Later Wednesday, Sims doubled down on his remarks on social media.
In addition to Sims’ comments, House Bill 118 also drew emotional testimonies from several Democratic lawmakers, many of whom shared their own experiences of miscarriages and view the legislation as an invasion of privacy.
The bill’s passage came a day after the Pennsylvania House passed another controversial law known as the Down Syndrome Protection Act, which bans abortions in women with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Wolf also pledged to veto this legislation.
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