Pennsylvania Lawmaker Has Mic Cut Off After Blasting State's GOP As '100% White'

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A Pennsylvania lawmaker isn’t backing down after a heated exchange in which he lambasted his state’s Republican delegation for pushing a “predictably misogynistic agenda.”

State Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, spoke out Wednesday against House Bill 118, otherwise known as the Unborn Child Dignity Act. The controversial bill, introduced by state Rep. 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 it’s approved by the Republican-led Senate, is almost certain to be vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has criticized it heavily in interviews and on social media. 

In his Wednesday remarks, 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.”

📽️ @PAHouseGOP leader has meltdown on House floor after it was raised that his caucus is 100% white in a chamber that is 70% male while pushing bills that hurt women's health, especially 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

The proposed legislation, he added, just “one more 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’ comments drew boos from GOP lawmakers, and shortly thereafter, House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler cut the Democrat’s microphone. Footage of the speech quickly made the rounds on Twitter, and by Thursday afternoon, had been viewed more than 83,000 times and featured by The Advocate and Insider, among other outlets. 

Later on Wednesday, Sims doubled down on his remarks on social media.

The takeaway from today’s sexist, racist actions by the Pa House Republicans on abortion isn’t them cutting me off for calling it out. Today the Demcratic women of the Pa House shared deeply personal, gut-wrenching stories in order to open hearts, minds & eyes that stayed closed.

— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 9, 2021

SO WHITE: Facts aren’t inflammatory or repugnant, an all white political party of mostly men policing women’s and black bodies is. #BeReal

— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 9, 2021

In addition to Sims’ comments, House Bill 118 also drew emotional testimonies from several Democratic female lawmakers, many of whom shared their own experiences involving miscarriages and see the legislation as an invasion of privacy. 

The bill’s passage came one day after Pennsylvania’s House approved another contentious piece of legislation known as the Down Syndrome Protection Act, which outlaws abortions among women who have received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. Wolf has also promised to veto this legislation. 

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