Tuesday, June 26, 2007

AFA of PA ACTION ALERT: A Bill to Put Power Back Into the Hands of the Voters!



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P.O. Box 1048

149 Summit Drive

Franklin, PA   16323

Phone:  1.814.271.9078   FAX:  1.814.437.5432





June 26, 2007


1.)    Update on H.B. 288

2.)    S.B 137 – Initiative and Referendum bill


1.)    H.B. 288— as of Friday, June 22 this bill was taken off the calendar and won’t be debated further until this fall.  Thanks to all who called and e-mailed Harrisburg!  Remember this was the bill that would have required all hospitals in PA to offer not only information about ‘emergency contraception’ including Plan B to rape victims but to offer the drugs themselves.  Supporters of this bill claim that Plan B is not an abortifacient, but the manufacturer and FDA disagree.  Note below:


FYI -- "Plan B," is manufactured by Duramed, which is a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals.  Duramed's "Plan B" website states the following:

"Emergency contraceptives are not effective if the

woman is already pregnant. Plan B is believed to act

as an emergency contraceptive principally by

preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal

transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may

inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It

is not effective once the process of implantation has

begun. (emphasis added)


            Additionally, in the FDA’s Q and A section on Plan B, the following appears:


 How does Plan B work?

Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work. (emphasis added)



2.)    Why has the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) not been placed before the people of Pennsylvania to vote on?  Because the PA Constitution says we must wait on legislators to pass it during two consecutive legislative sessions.   Most other states that have been able to vote on a MPA have the ability to gather names on a petition and if the required total is reached and certified, then force the constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow the voters to decide what the definition of marriage will be in their state.  This process is called initiative and referendum. 


We all know what happened in Harrisburg last June – the MPA overwhelmingly passed in the State House, but in the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Jane Earll introduced a weakening amendment. With the help of then Senate Pro-Tempore Robert Jubilier (an ex-officio member on all committees), the weakened amendment passed in the Judiciary Committee.  This negated the whole process because time constraints would not permit further action to reconcile the two bills.


S.B. 137 would change all that – permitting initiative and referendum in Pennsylvania, thus by-passing the legislators in Harrisburg.   S.B. 137 actually is a bill proposing a constitutional amendment allowing the voters to decide if they want to change Article XI in the Pennsylvania Constitution.


Initiative and Referendum would place power back into the hands of the people and issues such as term limits, school choice, spending caps, tort reform and the Marriage Protection Amendment would be able to “see the light of day.”  Also, note that only a maximum of four initiatives could be placed before the people during any one election.  


This bill is currently in the Senate State Government Committee and Senator Jeff Piccola will be introducing strengthening amendments before the anticipated vote on Wednesday, June 27th




1.)  Contact the members of the Senate State Government Committee and ask them to vote ‘yes’ on S.B. 137 WITH the strengthening Piccola amendments.  Click here for members of the State Government Committee or use the information below:


Sen. Jeff Piccola   -- Chairman                   


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-6801

Capitol Fax:

(717) 783-3722


Sen. Mike Folmer  -- Vice-Chair


Capitol Phone:                (717) 787-5708 or (877) 222.1897
Capitol Fax:                           (717) 787-3455



Sen. Mike Brubaker                


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-4420

Capitol Fax:

(717) 783-3156


Sen. Jake Corman                   


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-1377

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-3146


Sen. Chuck McIlhinney            


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-7305

Capitol Fax:

(717) 783-5962


Sen. Terry Punt                       


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-4651

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-2753


Sen. Joe Scarnati                     

Capitol Phone:


(717) 787-7084

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-2755


Sen. Anthony Williams             


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-5970

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-0574


Sen. Wayne Fontana               


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-5300

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-5484


Sen. Sean Logan                     


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-5580

Capitol Fax:

(717) 772-3588


Sen. Tina Tartaglione               


Capitol Phone:

(717) 787-1141

Capitol Fax:

(717) 787-7439



2.)  Don’t forget you can now listen to Diane Gramley’s weekly radio program ‘American Family Focus on PA Issues’ on our website.  Click here.  This week’s guest in the second of this two-part series is Cheryl Boise of the Commonwealth Education Organization discussing Governor Rendell’s Pre-K Counts.


3.)  Feel free to forward this alert to other concerned Pennsylvanians.  If this alert is being forwarded to you by a friend, please feel free to sign up by clicking here.   Please indicate in which county you live.


4.)  Please consider supporting the ongoing work of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.  Make an online donation.


In His service,


Diane Gramley


American Family Association of PA



AFA of PA encourages Christians, through education, to become involved in pro-family issues in their community, state and the nation.

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