Pa. Sex abuse survivors push, again, for windows legislation, Senate Leader Ward, again, resists

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Summer break is over for state lawmakers who returned to the capitol. They were greeted by victims of childhood sexual abuse who are loudly calling for a bill that would let them seek justice.

“We are not going away. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not until this legislation gets passed.” Survivors of childhood sexual abuse once again pleading for a bill that would let them sue their abusers. Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined in the chorus of complaints aimed at Senate Republicans.

“They are pathetically weak. They can’t even summon the courage to stand up to a couple of insurance company lobbyists,” Shapiro said. “The Attorney General saying we’re beholden to lobbyists is untrue,” Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward said. “I personally am having a hard time getting to a point where I say this is constitutional.”

Josh Shapiro is the state’s top lawyer. “What is sitting on the desk of the Majority Leader in statutory form is constitutional plain and simple. We have proven that time and time again,” Shapiro said.

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Republican State Rep. Torren Ecker is also a lawyer. He says there are legitimate constitutional questions but he sided with victims and voted yes. “It was gonna be on the ballot but for an error by the Secretary of State. It would have been on the ballot and likely would have passed. From that standpoint that’s why I voted for it,” Rep. Ecker said.

Ecker also said pass it now, let the courts decide later. These advocates say Senator Ward should do the same. “We have seven brilliant seasoned judges who can make the determination of constitutionality,” Kathryn Robb of Child USAdvocacy said.

Every speaker reiterated that no matter how many times they must return to the capitol steps they will until they get justice.

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