Yesterday, local activists picketed PA Rep. Harry Readshaw’s office for his anti-women’s health votes in the state legislature. At the event, his daughter tried to hit some of the demonstrators with her car. I guess those are the Readshaw family values.
Part One: Assaulting Women’s Health Care Rights
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates PAC organized the event. More than two dozen activists and constituents demonstrated at Readshaw’s (D-Allegheny County) Pittsburgh office for 31 minutes, representing his 31 repressive votes against women’s reproductive health. A handful of constituents spoke against his extreme record of compelling government to interfere with women’s personal health care decisions and its harm to their lives. The crowd included members of Organizing for America, the National Organization for Women, the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, Service Employees International Union, and supporters of Erin Molchany, his primary election opponent.
Readshaw has represented Pennsylvania’s 36th legislative district since 1995 and calls himself a Democrat. But he’s joined with PA Republican Governor Tom Corbett and the GOP in 38 other states to pass unconstitutional restrictions on abortion, prohibit private insurance coverage for abortions, mandate oppressive building code and staffing standards for abortion clinics, and more. In 2011, he introduced a bill which would have required any woman seeking an abortion to undergo a medically useless ultrasound procedure, and would have forced the woman to view that ultrasound image against her will. It’s all part of the Republican Party’s campaign against women’s health.
We demonstrated to bring attention to Readshaw’s abysmal record of callous disregard for women’s health and women’s rights.
Part Two: Assaulting Women’s Health Care Advocates
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.
During the entire demonstration, the nasty neighbor tried valiantly to trip several of us, including me, with his broom while “sweeping the sidewalk” where we were walking. When I took his picture during one confrontation, he grabbed my camera, which was on a strap around my neck. He let go and slunk away when I shouted at him.
Oh well. All in a day’s work.
I left messages for Readshaw and Perfetti, asking for comments on this report. They have not responded.
Perhaps Mr. Readshaw will explain to us all exactly WHY he didn’t bother to teach his daughter to be a decent human being. Considering his legislative behavior, I guess he just doesn’t know how to be one either. Apparently an affinity for assault runs in the family.
Pennsylvania’s primary election day is Tuesday, May 20. The polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
For more information:
A complete list of Readshaw’s 31 votes
2014’s Most Outrageous Attacks on Women’s Health (So Far)
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates
Why Should You Vote?
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