This letter is in response to a recent article that featured the "Blue Dog" Democrats of the Pennsylvania Legislature ("Conservative Democrats' Voices Heard," July 13). As a member of the House for one term (2006-2008), one of the reasons I found myself leaving the Legislature was because of the treatment of rape victims in Pennsylvania.
Under House Bill 288, which I co-sponsored and vocally supported, all hospitals in Pennsylvania would have been required to inform rape victims about emergency contraception. The July 13 article indicates that Rep. Nick Kotik, D-Robinson, helped form the Blue Dog "club" directly in opposition to this bill and proudly says it rattled enough chains to defeat the bill. I highly doubt that it was Rep. Kotik, et al. who had the power to single-handedly defeat the bill, as I know the Catholic Conference lobbied members every day.
That being said, I would like voters to ask their representatives if they ascribe to the Blue Dog philosophy in next year's election when considering the further victimization of rape victims in Pennsylvania at the hands of their legislators who wouldn't let HB 288 even come to the floor for a vote. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs when the only "victory" that certain representatives can point to is one that refuses recognized medical treatment to victims of horrific crimes.
The writer was a Democratic member of the House representing the 21st Legislative District.