|Rep. Mary Helen Roberts (D)|
In particular, Roberts was willing to admit that the "forced speech" provisions -- which have been declared unconstitutional by a Maryland judge -- were "onerous" and she did not support them.
This conversation took place before the Health Committee passed a slightly modified version of the bill. Her staff was not willing to go so far as to commit to a "no" vote if the bill came to the floor essentially unchanged, but our impression was that she did not want to be forced into an up-or-down vote on the bill as-is.
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.
While one never wants to get too hopeful about the willingness of someone like Roberts to buck the abortion industry that controls her party, this conversation was real evidence of the impact regular citizens speaking up and talking to their political representatives, even in sanity-starved Puget Sound, can have.