What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 9, 2014

Pro Choice/Anti Readshaw Rally Turns Ugly

On Wednesday, May 7, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania Advocates held a "Rally Against Readshaw: 31 Minutes for 31 Votes Against Women's Health" in front of PA State Rep. Harry Readshaw's (D-Allegheny-Dist 36) Brownsville Road office. Here's how the event was described on Facebook by the hosts:
Representative Harry Readshaw has voted against women’s health an astonishing 31 times in the Pennsylvania legislature, and it’s time to show him that the women of South Pittsburgh deserve better. 
Join us for a 31-minute protest out side Rep. Readshaw's district office against the 31 times Harry Readshaw voted to restrict women's access to reproductive healthcare in PA. Let's make Readshaw tell us why he thinks women are not capable of making our own medical decisions.
Here are some photographs from the event:

And, here is a list of Readshaw's votes on women's health: www.31votesagainstwomen.com. It includes the infamous bill he introduced which would have forced women:
[T]o have a medically unnecessary ultrasound 24 hours prior to an abortion. It also forces doctors to turn the ultrasound screen towards the woman’s face. It then forces the woman take TWO prints with her (one for her scrapbook, and the other one SHE has to bring to the doctor performing the abortion.) And, furthermore, it forces civil and criminal penalties for doctors and patients who dare defy their legislating of medicine.
Here's the ad Planned Parenthood is running against him:


Readshaw has run unopposed in the Democratic primary for many years and has been a legislator since first winning in 1994. However, since House districts have been redrawn, he now has an opponent in the May 20 primary: Rep. Erin Molchany (D-Allegheny-Dist 22) who is progressive and pro choice and who has picked up endorsements from such local elected democrats as County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Bill Peduto, City Council President Bruce Kraus, City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, and others.

Maybe that's what's driving (no pun intended) some of Readshaw's supporters over the edge. From the Community Matters blog description of the rally:
I've been to hundreds of demonstrations in my lifetime. This began as a pretty standard event. We circled the sidewalk in front of Readshaw's office until a woman in a large SUV backed up along the curb, nearly hitting some protestors and reporters. Jeanne Clark, a longtime Pittsburgh activist, walked to the driver's window and said "Stop. There are people behind you." The driver said "You don't care about killing babies", and she did it again. Deliberately. She sat in the car screeching "Abortion is murder." Apparently, she doesn't have a problem with vehicular homicide or critical injury. Pro-life my ass. 
We learned that the woman is Megan Readshaw Perfetti, Harry Readshaw's DAUGHTER
Perfetti is a health teacher and coordinates the health education curriculum for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I guess she doesn't think women need health care. 
Before the event even began, a man from the business next door strongly objected to our presence. He shouted that he was calling the police. No one cared, since we were protesting legally. A Pittsburgh Police car arrived a few minutes later, after Perfetti's stunt, and sat in a parking space across the street. Perfetti walked over to talk to the officer. I don't know what they discussed, since she was clearly the only person committing a crime at the time, but the officer never left his car. He drove away as the event ended.
Wow! And they call themselves "pro life."

You can also read the City Paper's Blogh coverage here.

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