Debate over abortion- related legislation turned combative Thursday when a Pomona Democrat blasted male ignorance of women's bodies, then defied Assembly floor leaders who asked her to stop.
Assemblywoman Norma Torres' outburst ended nearly an hour of debate over Senate Bill 623 to continue a pilot project in which physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives provide first-trimester abortions.
Torres began by noting U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's recent comments about "legitimate rape," not mentioning him by name, then started talking about history.
House Majority Floor Leader Charles Calderon, also a Democrat, rose and said Torres should "stick to the issues presented in the bill."
She bristled. "I take offense at any man who dares to stand up and shut me down."
He countered that Assembly rules apply to all members.
After a heated exchange, Assemblyman Curt Hagman, a GOP caucus floor leader, asked her to "please stick to the merits of the case."
Torres bristled: "I refuse as a woman to be shut down by you or any other man in this Assembly."
The measure ultimately passed, 46-24 and now goes to the Senate.
BY THE NUMBERS
California's state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier, but payroll jumped 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report. In 2001, the state had 372,678 "full-time equivalent" employees and a monthly payroll of $1.7 billion. By 2011, there were 407,321 FTEs, and payroll was $2.4 billion a month.
"Will sleep with one eye open just to make sure! #CEQA"
ASSEMBLYMAN JARED HUFFMAN, D-San Rafael, via Twitter, applauding the news that the California Legislature won't be considering proposals to change the California Environmental Quality Act before its session ends next Friday
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