We recently caught up with Washington State Representative Mary Helen Roberts. Roberts is a co-sponsor of HB1366, and a former employee of Planned Parenthood. But after "hearing from many of her constituents" on the bill which would effectively destroy the 57 crisis pregnancy centers in Washington state which help 62,000 women every year, and increase the number of abortions, Roberts has surprised us by publicly admitting to rethinking her support.
Rep. Roberts' staff told us that she has really been hearing from people on this, and the fact that these centers really help women, and that these women are forever grateful to them has registered with her.
Her legislative aide, Dan Hagen, attended the Health Committee hearing, and so saw that it was packed with about 1,000 CPC supporters, who overflowed into the Rotunda. Hagen was very up to speed on the issues, and able to articulate the crux of the testimony in a manner that seemed to differ substantively from the mindless NARAL talking point drivel that has emerged from other Democrats' offerings to constituents.
Hagen told us that the only thing Rep. Roberts real wanted to see the bill address was the "horror stories" she has reportedly heard from individuals who have visited pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) and/or Pregnancy Medical Clinics (PMCs).
He readily acknowledged, however, that much (if not all) of this testimony has come from ideological enemies of these groups, and none of it has been presented under oath, in affidavits, or in any sort of sworn testimony that would distinguish it from politically-motivated and biased slander.
It would be too much to ask, of course, for a ProChoice politician to devote some energy to investigating the horror stories coming out of abortion mills -- places where women are maimed and killed, not merely annoyed. But still, this is a great start.
My letter to Rep. Roberts:
Dear Rep. Roberts,
Though I am not a constituent, nor even a resident of Washington, I was heartened to hear of your response to your constituents on HB1366.
I hope that you suffer no repercussions for your courageous choice to break ranks with the abortion lobby, and further hope that other legislators in other states prove likewise open-minded, compassionate, and sensitive to the needs of vulnerable women.