After a heated exchange in which he accused his state's Republican delegation of pushing a "predictably misogynistic agenda," a Pennsylvania
lawmaker is refusing to back down.
State Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor
, spoke out Wednesday against House Bill 118, also known as the Unborn Child
Dignity Act, which would require medical providers to offer the option of burial or cremation after a pregnancy loss.
The bill passed 118-83, but if approved by the Republican-led Senate
, it will almost certainly be vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has slammed it in interviews and on social media
Sims said in his remarks on Wednesday that having to “debate a bill that would never become law” was indicative of the “political theater
that has plagued this chamber for far too long.”
@PAHouseGOP leader has a meltdown on the House floor after it was raised that his caucus is 100% white in a chamber that is 70% male while pushing bills that harm women's health
, particularly Black
and brown women. He had it stricken from the record, then they shut down the floor. pic.twitter.com/xy1qwI8eYG — J.J. Abbott (@jjabbott) June 9, 2021
He went on to say that the proposed legislation was “just another unnecessary overreach in a grossly, predictably misogynistic agenda — an agenda pursued by a party that is 100% white, in a chamber that is 70% male.”
Sims' remarks drew boos from Republican lawmakers, and shortly after, House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler cut the Democrat's microphone. Footage of the speech quickly went viral
on Twitter, and by Thursday afternoon, had been viewed more than 83,000 times and featured by The Advocate and Insider, among other outlets.
Sims later doubled down on his social media comments on Wednesday.
The takeaway from today's sexist, racist abortion
actions by the Pennsylvania House Republicans
isn't them cutting me off for pointing it out. Today, the Democratic
women of the Pennsylvania House shared deeply personal, gut-wrenching stories in order to open hearts, minds, and eyes that had previously been closed. — Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 9, 2021
SO WHITE: Facts aren't inflammatory or repugnant, but an all-white political party
dominated by men policing women's and black bodies is. #BeReal — Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 9, 2021
House Bill 118 drew emotional testimonies from several Democratic female lawmakers, many of whom shared their own miscarriage experiences and see the legislation as an invasion of privacy.
The bill's passage came just one day after the Pennsylvania House passed the Down Syndrome Protection Act, which prohibits abortions for women who have been diagnosed with prenatal Down syndrome; Wolf has promised to veto this legislation as well.