In Molchany/Readshaw race, worlds collide during Planned Parenthood demonstration | Pittsburgh City Paper

In Molchany/Readshaw race, worlds collide during Planned Parenthood demonstration

It seems like everyone is getting swept up –- almost literally -- in the primary battle between state Reps. Harry Readshaw and Erin Molchany.

Yesterday afternoon, more than two dozen protesters showed up at Readshaw's Brownsville Road office in Carrick. Organized by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, the political arm of Planned Parenthood, the demonstration called out Readshaw for a slew of votes against abortion rights and women's health generally. As protests go, it was standard fare, with chants like "Hey hey, ho ho, Harry Readshaw's got to go," and signs insisting "Keep politics out of my doctor's office."

What made the demonstration unusual was the welcoming committee it received. A Readshaw supporter pulled up along the sidewalk in an SUV, rolled down the window, and noisily played bad pop music at the demonstrators. A guy with a push broom, meanwhile, apparently decided the protest would be a good time to sweep the walk in front of Readshaw's office. He later swept it again, just after the march broke up, thereby ensuring that the 1900 block of Brownsville was the most redd-up section of Carrick's business district yesterday. As the marchers shifted their ground to accommodate the sweeper, the SUV backed up to follow along -- apparently in an effort to be maximally annoying. (The radio station she had on, by the way, was broadcasting Christian contemporary. That, my friends, is hardball.) Some jawboning ensued.

Basically, if you wanted to compose a portrait of what's driving much of the dynamic in this race -- social progressives squaring off against conservative Democrats -- this is the tableau you would have created. Right down to the NRA decal on the SUV's rear window.