BCCC Presents Forum on Reproductive Rights: State vs Federal Authority
On Friday June 24 the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) reversed itself and about 50 years of precedent when it overturned Roe v Wade, in Dobbs.
Just today, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced he is proposing legislation that allows abortions at up to 15 weeks.
The state of Kansas, a traditionally conservative state decisively voted in favor or maintaining a woman’s right to choose in a ballot measure that called for a complete ban that failed on August 2.
The Associated Press reported “…it was the first state referendum on abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.”
In Pennsylvania women’s reproductive rights are a major issue for voters, especially since Republican candidate for Governor Doug Mastriano wants to abolish those rights and Democratic Candidate Josh Shapiro promises to protect a woman’s right to choose.
This is what makes a forum to be held Thursday September 15 at Bucks County Community College- Bristol campus an intriguing event.
“What is the future of reproductive rights in Pennsylvania given the recent Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case, and how might proposed changes in election procedures impact the outcome?” a press release asks.
The forum will be hosted by the Social and Behavioral Science Department of the college will from noon to 1:30, officials said.
Forum panelists will include John Petito, Associate Professor at BCCC; David Steil, a former eight-term state representative; Patrick Christmas, Policy Director of the Committee of Seventy; Melissa Reed, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood, Keystone, and Marlene Downing, Susan B. Anthony List and Pro-Life Coalition.
The forum will address three main components: the conflicting constitutional/judicial rationale of the Roe and Doobs decisions; current and proposed election procedures in Pennsylvania that may impact future legislation, and pro-life and pro-choice legislative goals for the coming session in Harrisburg.
Social and behavioral science department member, and Bristol’s own Bill Pezza, will moderate the discussion.
“Although this is a highly charged issue, we want to tone down the rhetoric and provide citizens detailed information regarding the legislative process, election procedures that may impact the selection of future decision-makers, and the legislative agenda of both sides of the reproductive rights issue moving forward.,” Pezza said about the forum.
The free, live forum is open to students and the community and will also be available via zoom. Those wishing to preregister for the Zoom broadcast may do so at this link .
Prior to the official SCOTUS decision announcement, students at Bristol Township’s Truman High School staged a walkout in expressing their support for the reproductive rights of women.
A Wall Street Journal poll published by earlier this month suggests support of legal abortion grew after the Dobbs decision was published.
The poll found that support for abortion increased five percentage points, from 55% in March to 60% in August among all likely voters, according to WSJ
The forum is part of the college’s ongoing Political Power Hour series. The next event at the Epstein campus will be a Congressional Debate between Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and challenger Ashley Ehasz in October.