Baer Growls

JUST IN CASE you think Republicans learned the lesson about not pushing stuff that annoys lots of women and tends to create or widen gender gaps in elections, you should know about state House Resolution 82.

It honors John Patrick Stanton, of Jenkintown, as a "humanitarian, activist and founder of the pro-life movement in this Commonwealth."

Stanton died in January 2014 at age 86.

The measure, sponsored by Montco Republican Rep. Thomas Murt, was voted out of the House Health Committee last week, 18-9.

It was supported by all 16 Republican committee members and by two Democrats: Philly Rep. Kevin Boyle and Luzerne County Rep. Gerald Mullery.

Stanton was known for demonstrating outside abortion clinics. His decades of doing so resulted in lawsuits, charges of harassment and trespassing, arrests and at least one incarceration.

The committee vote isn't drawing praise everywhere, especially because it occurred during National Women's Health Week, May 10 to 16.

"You have to hand it to some of these legislators. Their hypocrisy is truly unmatched," said Sari Stevens, executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates. "The idea that a majority of House Health Committee members, during Women's Health Week, honored a man whose lifework was to harass and intimidate women and women's health care is just too much to take."

In addition to Boyle, other area lawmakers voting for the resolution were: Chester County Reps. Becky Corbin, John Lawrence and Harry Lewis; Montco Rep. Mary Toepel; and Bucks County Rep. Frank Farry.

No word on when the full House might vote on the resolution. The House and Senate are out of session until June 1.

- John Baer