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Florida Repeatedly Contacted the College Board About the A.P. African American Studies Course

A new letter reveals the truth about why the College Board changed its A.P. African American studies course—and the role Ron DeSantis’s government played.

Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A newly uncovered letter shows that Florida government officials had repeated, ongoing contact with the College Board while it was first developing the Advanced Placement African American studies course. The revelation contradicts the board’s previous claim that Florida officials had no influence over its decision to water down the class’s curriculum.

In the letter, first obtained by The Daily Caller, Florida Department of Education officials write to thank the senior director of College Board’s Florida Partnership for “the regular, two-way verbal and written dialogue on this important topic,” spanning “since January 2022.” The letter explained in detail when state officials expressed objections to the proposed curriculum.

Last week, the College Board released final guidelines for the class, having removed substantial facets of the curriculum that Florida’s Department of Education objected to, including concepts surrounding intersectionality, mass incarceration, the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. The College Board stated that “core revisions” to the proposed A.P. African American Studies class “were substantially complete” by December 22, “weeks before Florida’s objections were shared.” (Florida announced it would ban the course from public schools in late January.)

The new letter shows that, in fact, Florida had shared its objections for nearly a year before the cited December date. This calls into question whether Florida government officials influenced the final resultant curriculum—and if so, how much.

The Florida officials wrote that they “were grateful to see” the final curriculum had removed 19 topics, many of which they had previously objected to, deeming them “discriminatory and historically fictional,” referring to topics like intersectionality, mass incarceration, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

While the class has already been barred from Florida schools this year, Florida officials expressed in the letter that they’re “looking forward” to reviewing the College Board’s submission of the supposedly coincidentally watered-down course for the following school year.

Florida’s banning of the class, and apparent influence on the College Board to water it down for the rest of the nation, is part of an ongoing assault on education in the state.

One Florida school district serving over 50,000 students recently banned 23 books, including The Kite Runner and the entire Court of Roses and Thorns book series—going even beyond a state law that mandates books in public schools to be subject to review by a “specialist.”

Last week, the president of the New College of Florida was forced out by a board of trustees stacked with hand-picked appointees of Governor Ron DeSantis; she was replaced with another DeSantis ally.

DeSantis has also pushed through the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade; lobbied for the Stop Woke Act, which restricts teaching on race in colleges; and announced plans to mandate Western civilization courses and defund diversity, equity, and inclusion programs on state college campuses.

Make no mistake: Even just in imposing his will on teachers and students, DeSantis has proven over and over again to be a fascist. Regardless of however many hogwash columns or cable news commentators insist that DeSantis represents some sort of icon of intrigue or political savviness, or even an alternative to Trump, know that he is as rotten as they come—and should be nowhere near any lever of power in a just society.

Republicans Have Long Wanted to Cut Medicare and Social Security. Don’t Fall for the Fake Outrage Now.

You’d never suspect it from their reactions to Biden’s State of the Union. But here’s the proof.

Rick Scott, Mike Lee, and Bill Cassidy sit next to each other
Senators Rick Scott, Mike Lee, and Bill Cassidy yell as President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address on February 7.

You’d never suspect Republicans have been trying to slash Social Security and Medicare for years, based on their reactions to Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

The president scored a big win Tuesday night when he appeared to get Republicans to agree not to cut funding for Medicare or Social Security during his speech.

Republicans were outraged when Biden said some of them were proposing to “sunset” the federal entitlements programs—and have since doubled down, claiming they intend to do no such thing. But not only have GOP lawmakers suggested slashing the funding multiple times in the past year, the party has been out to end the programs since they began.

Republicans have held a “visceral and abiding dislike” for the welfare programs since the Social Security Act was implemented in 1935, according to the historian Lewis L. Gould. Since the party took control of the House of Representatives in January, they have been weighing options to slash Social Security and Medicare, ostensibly in order to curb federal spending. GOP lawmakers are threatening to hold the debt ceiling hostage until the federal budget is reduced, and Social Security and Medicare are on the chopping block.

Mike Lee looked appalled that Biden said his party would cut Social Security funding, despite saying quite clearly on camera during his first Senate campaign in 2010, “It will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up from the roots and get rid of it.”

Rick Scott has previously proposed sunsetting the programs every five years. The morning after the State of the Union, he tried to refute Biden’s accusation—by doubling down on his plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. In August, Ron Johnson went even further, proposing removing Social Security and Medicare as federal entitlement programs and instead making them discretionary spending programs that Congress approves on a yearly basis.

The list goes on: Lindsey Graham proposed changing the income cap and eligibility age for the programs in June. Michael Waltz said in January the entitlements program needs to be considered when it comes to cutting the federal budget. And just last week, Kevin Hern said he “wouldn’t think it’d be off the table” in regard to slashing Social Security and Medicare.

Even Donald Trump tried to cut the programs every year he was in office. For the 2021 federal budget alone, he proposed slashing about half a trillion dollars from Social Security and Medicare. Again, these are just a handful of examples in a larger Republican agenda to cut the social safety programs.

So it’s no wonder Biden looked so gleeful as half of Congress shouted at him Tuesday night.

Florida Won’t Require High School Athletes to Share Their Menstrual History, but May Force Them to Reveal Their Sex Assigned at Birth

The information could be used to out transgender students.

Girls’ soccer teams on the field. One is about to kick a soccer ball.
Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Florida High School Athletics Association decided Thursday not to require student athletes to give their schools detailed information about their periods—a proposed policy that sparked widespread outcry—but will ask for their sex assigned at birth.

The FHSAA board of directors was due to meet at the end of the month for a final vote on the committee recommendation, but held an emergency meeting Thursday after heated pushback from parents, health care providers, and Florida legislators.

Ahead of the vote, the board read public comments that had been submitted. Almost all of the 150 comments submitted to the board opposed asking for students’ menstrual history.

“This is a huge invasion of privacy, not necessary, and absolutely creepy,” one commenter said. Others pointed out the double standard of not requiring boys to submit personal medical details. “It is clear that your agenda is a political one, and it has no place in our schools,” said another commenter.

The board voted 14–2 to remove all menstrual history questions, but students would still be required to submit their entire medical history form to their schools.

However, the form was changed to ask the students’ “sex assigned at birth” instead of just their sex. If the board votes at the end of the month to adopt this new form, the information could be used to out transgender students. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has banned trans girls from playing girls’ sports.

The FHSAA announced in October that it was digitizing its annual physical form for student athletes. The new form included optional but detailed questions about students’ menstruation cycles. Previously, only one page of the paper form—on which a pediatrician would sign off on a student being allowed to play—would be submitted to a school.

Despite widespread public outcry over the potential repercussions of digitizing that data, an FHSAA panel decided in January not only to stand by the change, but also recommended the menstrual history questions be made mandatory.

Many parents and doctors were worried that schools would use the menstrual data to monitor students for late or missed periods, a possible sign of pregnancy, or to out trans students by watching for girls who don’t get periods or boys who do.

The FHSAA board of directors announced Tuesday they would hold the emergency meeting, just hours after 30 Florida lawmakers called on them not to approve the requirement that students provide their menstrual history. The letter writers, all Democratic members of the state House, called the menstrual history questions “highly invasive,” in violation of Florida’s constitutional right to privacy, and asked what the scientific justification for the questions was.

Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, people have been hypervigilant about third parties tracking menstrual data. Period tracker apps and the platform that hosts Florida’s new digital athletics form are not owned by medical institutions and therefore are not subject to health privacy laws. If subpoenaed for someone’s data, particularly in a state where abortion has been made illegal, the companies would be required to hand it over.

Republicans have been cracking down on the rights of women, girls, and gender minorities at the state and federal level. In the past few weeks alone, there has been a huge uptick in state-level health care legislation aimed at limiting access to gender-affirming care and abortion, even in states where residents have voted to protect those rights. In Texas, anti-abortion groups have filed a lawsuit that could force the FDA to revoke approval of mifepristone, a medicine used to terminate pregnancies, which would pull the drug from the market.

Idaho Republicans Want to Charge People With “Human Trafficking” for Helping Minors to Get an Abortion

Anyone found guilty under the proposed law would face up to five years in prison.

A teenage girl in the foreground holds a sign that reads "My Body My Choice!" Another in the background holds a sign that says "Wombs Are Not State Property."
A group of teenagers in Driggs, Idaho, protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Republican lawmakers in Idaho want to expand the definition of “human trafficking” to include helping a minor get an abortion.

The bill, which was introduced Tuesday, would prohibit “recruiting, harboring, or transporting” a person under the age of 18 to get an abortion or abortion medication, either in Idaho or out of state. It would also give the state attorney general the power to prosecute someone for violating the proposed law, should the prosecuting attorney in the relevant county refuse to do so.

Anyone who helps a minor get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge could be charged with human trafficking. But the bill says that if the minor’s parents or guardians consented to the abortion, then that would count as a legal defense. Anyone found guilty of human trafficking under the new, expanded definition would face between two to five years in prison.

Abortion in Idaho is illegal, with exceptions for rape, incest, or risk to the life of the pregnant person. But the bill introduced Tuesday does not include similar exceptions. It is also short on details about exceptions for minors who are being sexually abused at home, or whether both parents or guardians need to consent to the procedure or only one is acceptable.

Idaho is not the first state to try to restrict the ability to help someone get an abortion. Missouri lawmakers introduced a bill in March that would allow people to sue anyone who helped a state resident get an abortion, including transporting them across state lines. State House lawmakers blocked the bill a few weeks later.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Republicans across the country have gone full-speed ahead on restricting abortion rights, for instance in Kansas, where lawmakers are trying to overturn the will of the people. Democrats have tried to combat their efforts, including at the federal level, where House Democrats introduced a bill protecting the right to cross state lines to get the procedure.

That bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled chamber. President Joe Biden has promised repeatedly to veto any federal abortion ban bills, but during the State of the Union address Tuesday he only said the word “abortion” once, infuriating reproductive rights activists.

Nancy Mace’s Jokes About Republicans Are Really Funny if You Don’t Pay Attention to Her Own Record

Representative Nancy Mace has some jokes about her Republican colleagues. But take a closer look.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“I know everyone thinks Republicans aren’t funny. But if you get a bunch of us together, we can be a real riot.”

On Wednesday night, Republican Representative Nancy Mace charmed the Washington press corps with a stand-up routine filled with enough self-awareness that it showed how much of a game Washington politics really can be.

Going from hit to hit, Mace dropped genuinely solid quips about everything from George Santos’s serial lying to efforts to overturn the 2020 election to inquiries into whether Matt Gaetz had sex with a minor.

“Come on George, you’ve given Republicans a bad name, and that’s Lauren Boebert’s job,” Mace quipped. “Just kidding Lauren, don’t shoot.”

“There hasn’t been a Republican that’s gotten this much buzz since Lauren Boebert went through a metal detector,” she added.

The chummy event followed a chaotic GOP-led House Oversight Committee hearing with former Twitter employees, in which an array of incendiary right-wingers outright threatened the employees and exposed their own claims of collusion between Democrats and the social media company as completely baseless.

During said hearing, it was not just the typical suspects Boebert and Jim Jordan who were throwing everything at the wall and seeing what would stick.

Mace joined in, appealing to elite credentialism to question why Twitter’s employees felt they could apply their content moderation policies to Harvard and Stanford-educated doctors when they did not hold medical degrees. The doctor in question was Jay Bhattacharya, who co-published a petition condemning Covid-19 responses like lockdowns, contact tracing, and isolation and argued that “those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.”

Bhattacharya (who now serves on Ron DeSantis’s public health “integrity” committee) and company published the petition on October 5, 2020, at which point more than 200,000 people had died of Covid in the United States alone. Another more than 900,000 have died since then—even with America’s hodge-podge but still not immediately returning-to-normal response. Mace went to bat for a man whose ideas, if validated further, could have led to thousands more deaths.

Mace further peddled doubts about the vaccine, saying she had “great regrets about getting the shot,” proclaiming she has not only had long-term effects from Covid but now from the vaccine too. If she does indeed have such effects, that’s surely concerning. But this does seem to be the first time she has said so, and it doesn’t seem to preclude the possibility that her long-term effects are, in fact, just from long Covid itself—which one would think might make someone less eager to defend a doctor who disparaged Covid mitigation strategies.

And for the cherry on top, Mace proudly declared, “Thank God for Matt Taibbi. Thank God for Elon Musk,” for the Twitter Files, which helped prompt a hearing so comical, you’d think it would have made it into Mace’s stand-up routine.

Mace’s oscillation between her pally “I’m-not-like-other-Republicans” shtick and essentially being exactly like her other far-right colleagues is part of an ongoing trend.

After Mace initially expressed hesitation to kick Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she fell in line on her caucus’s shameless smear campaign against one of the only independent voices on foreign policy in Congress.

As Mace continues to criticize her party’s staunch anti-choice stance, touting her own supposedly more moderate views, she has continued to vote “yes” on anti-abortion bills.

And maybe Mace is doing it all just because she can. She’ll maintain good standing with her ever-rightward party, while still currying favor with the press, as she delivers wink-wink jokes, assuring the press corps that she’s different from the rest of her colleagues. It’s fine to chuckle at the humor and absurdity of it all. But let’s not fall for the whole act.

GOP’s Hunter Biden Laptop Obsession Accidentally Reveals How Twitter Helped Right-Wing Speech Flourish

The “Twitter Files” didn’t pan out exactly how Republicans expected.

Marjorie Taylor Greene holds up a giant posterboard with one of her old tweets printed on it. It is about Covid, masks, vaccines, and obesity.
Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene displays her bad tweets during a House Oversight Committee hearing on February 8.

Republicans’ fateful “Twitter Files” hearing on Wednesday was supposed to reveal how the social media company and the left colluded to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Instead, witness testimony revealed more ways the social media company accommodated right-wing speech and was even supplicated directly by Republican elected officials—including the White House.

Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin introduced a line of questioning to former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli, who explained that the company actually allowed “a loud roar” of violence-inciting hate speech from thousands of posts. Navaroli said management did not allow employees to remove the posts that were violating incitement to violence policies.

And in a farcical hearing where Republicans were supposedly concerned with government officials attempting to influence the social media company’s content moderation policies, Representative Gerry Connolly pointed out that former President Trump tried on numerous occasions to directly influence Twitter’s content moderation policies, including publicly in a rant on Twitter.

In answering a question from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Navaroli revealed that Twitter had in fact changed its own content moderation policy after Trump violated it, in order to accommodate his tweet.

“So much for bias against [the] right-wing on Twitter,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

Members including Representative Jim Jordan attempted to propagate a notion that the FBI “played” the employees in order to suppress the Hunter Biden story. For this, as for many of the allegations being hurled at individual Twitter employees, Trump was president at this time, and the FBI director was Trump’s own pick, Christopher Wray.

Meanwhile, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert spent much of their time complaining about their own accounts being held accountable for content moderation violations, and still attempting to peddle an anti-Trump conspiracy between Twitter and the government—a plot supposedly happening while Trump was still the leader of the government.

While firebrand Republicans sought to carry out a hearing that exposed a nefarious connection between Democrats and Twitter, instead they revealed the tenuousness of some of their claims.

“I believe that what’s happening here is my Republican colleagues know that the premise of this whole hearing is misleading. There is no evidence that the Biden campaign had anything to do with the Hunter Biden New York Post story,” Representative Becca Balint said. “And the evidence we do have simply shows what the Trump campaign and millions of Twitter users do routinely: flag content and ask Twitter to conduct its own review to determine whether it violates Twitter’s own rules and policies.”

Whistleblower Tells AOC That Twitter Changed Rules to Allow Racist Trump Tweets

A former Twitter employee testified that a Trump tweet targeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Squad members should have violated content moderation guidelines.

Anika Collier Navaroli testifies
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on February 8. The committee held a hearing on “Protecting Speech From Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped reveal Wednesday that Twitter changed its rules to allow Donald Trump to tweet essentially whatever he wanted.

Anika Collier Navaroli worked on Twitter’s content moderation policy. She was also the whistleblower who told the House January 6 investigative committee that the social network let Trump bend rules and tweet disinformation for years because executives enjoyed how powerful it made them.

Navaroli testified Wednesday in front of the House alongside three other former Twitter executives. Republicans had called the hearing to ask about Hunter Biden’s laptop, but Ocasio-Cortez decided it was time to “talk about something real.”

Ocasio-Cortez highlighted a Trump tweet from 2019 demanding why she and several of her colleagues (members of the Squad and, at the time, all women of color) don’t “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

In response to a series of questions, Navaroli explained that she and her team had recommended finding Trump in violation of Twitter policy for that tweet, particularly because phrases such as “go back to where you come from” were specifically forbidden in Twitter’s content moderation guidelines.

When she made the recommendation to one of her superiors, Navaroli’s decision was overridden. A few days later, Twitter changed its content moderation policy to remove that phrase as an example of abusive language.

“So Twitter changed their own policy after the president violated it in order to potentially accommodate his tweet?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.

When Navaroli said yes, the congresswoman replied, “So much for bias against [the] right-wing on Twitter.”

Republicans and Trump in particular have long claimed that social media is biased against them. But Navaroli’s testimony reveals that Twitter, at least, was willing to bend the rules to give world leaders much more wiggle room.

In 2019, Twitter created its public interest exemptions, which stated that even if a politician’s tweets violated content policy, the posts could be left up if they were found to be in the public interest.

Trump was only penalized when he tweeted something really egregious, such as election misinformation or comments that helped spark the January 6 riot. But by then, it was too late.

Maxwell Frost Enters “P**** A** B****” Into the House Record to Make a Point About Free Speech

Frost was referencing an iconic Chrissy Teigen tweet about Donald Trump.

Maxwell Frost
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Thanks to Representative Maxwell Frost, “pussy ass bitch” is now in the congressional record.

As he questioned former Twitter safety employee Anika Collier Navaroli in a House hearing on Wednesday, Frost asked Navaroli to read out loud the expletive quote from a Chrissy Teigen tweet about Donald Trump. Navaroli then testified that the Trump administration reached out directly to Twitter, jockeying for the company to remove the post.

“Free speech,” Frost remarked about Teigen’s tweet.

The exchange was part of a House hearing, inspired by the so-called “Twitter Files,” on whether Democrats worked with Twitter to suppress the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Frost’s line of questioning complicated Republicans’ narrative that Twitter colluded with the government to baselessly silence right-wing views.

Frost, the 25-year-old congressional freshman from Florida, further challenged the hearing’s supposed concern for free speech, asking whether his colleagues would host hearings on government officials suppressing free speech, rather than only private businesses making editorial decisions. Frost cited how his state’s own Governor Ron DeSantis is attacking free speech by targeting businesses that support drag shows and teachers who are teaching curriculum that DeSantis has sought to ban.

Much of the right-wing outrage driving the hearing revolved around trumped-up claims of cancel culture and of social media companies suppressing “free speech” (whether that be slurs, calls for violence, or even incitements of riots). Frost addressed this quite acutely, noting that “there’s a difference between a culture war, and how culture naturally changes,” as he suggested some of his colleagues are resistant to natural culture change. “Just yesterday, we heard a member equate immigration negatively to ‘changing our culture.’”

“The reality is that culture changes and adopts and welcomes more people. It becomes more understanding, and it also decides to reassess what’s acceptable behavior and rhetoric,” Frost said. “In this supposed culture war, they often conflate the right to free speech with the nonexistent right to not be criticized or held accountable for what you say on the internet or even real life.”

Questions surrounding free speech, online and offline, are indeed important, as are inquiries into policies on platforms where millions of people communicate. Frost’s lines of questioning, however, helped provide a reality check on how many of the concerns from the hearings’ most vocal proponents were about free speech versus about the right to say a slur, spread election or Covid conspiracies, or incite more riots on the Capitol.

What on Earth Was Sarah Huckabee Sanders Doing in Her State of the Union Response?

Sanders used the little time she had to focus on herself and the “woke mob.”

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

It is said that the State of the Union response slot is cursed, that whoever gets the “lucky” draw to deliver the response may thereafter come into some bad political luck. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s speech may push the idea further; her unfocused and culture war–inspired remarks on Tuesday, ringing impressively discordant compared to President Biden’s largely positive speech, may not only leave a mark on her own career but actually further hamper her already-flailing party.

Biden spent over an hour sticking to a message about policy accomplishments (highlighting bipartisan efforts, perhaps too generously, wherever he could) and the “possibility” of what more Congress can do: everything from taking on junk fees and revitalizing ever-popular child tax credits to paying teachers better and capping insulin prices for all.

Afterward, Sanders filled much of her nearly 15-minute slot talking about “critical race theory,” left-wing “rituals” and “woke fantasies,” and herself.

After the former Trump press secretary opened by calling Biden a liar, she discussed her and her mother’s past cancer diagnosis and how thankful she was to doctors and the grace of God that neither disease stopped her family from charging “boldly ahead.”

She spent precious minutes on this story, all to not even mention how important it might be for everyone to have access to health care that could cure their ailments too. Instead, she transitioned into contrasting herself with Biden. “I’m the first woman to lead my state. He’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is,” Sanders said, opening up her remarks toward the Republicans’ latest crutch: hating transgender people.

“His administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left,” Sanders opined, after Biden had spent an hour talking about policies most Americans agree with and another hour shaking the hands of practically every member of Congress and guest at the State of the Union address.

“The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy,” Sanders continued. She then boasted about signing executive orders to ban critical race theory and “indoctrination” in schools and repealing Covid safety standards.

“The Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day,” Sanders warned. “Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight,” she continued, as if conservatives are not the ones ratcheting up the culture war with their ever-oscillating sights on gas stoves, or M&Ms, or weirdly encouraging people to smoke tobacco. Sanders was right to suggest that “most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom.” Unfortunately, book bans and the criminalization of abortions, notable infringements on people’s “freedom,” are hallmarks of the Republican agenda.

“Make no mistake: Republicans will not surrender this fight,” Sanders assured. “We will lead with courage and do what’s right, not what’s politically correct or convenient.” Sanders’s speech resembled the same sort of hollow and out-of-touch messaging that helped Republicans lose in 2020 and fall drastically short of expectations in 2022. It was visionless, with seldom any actual talk of policies that would uplift people in this country.

So, in a sense, Sanders is correct in saying that if Republicans do indeed continue this fight, they will absolutely find the strategy to be politically inconvenient and strategically incorrect.

Pennsylvania Democrats Win House Majority, Ensuring Protection of Abortion Rights

Pennsylvania Democrats won three special elections, giving them control of the state House of Representatives for the first time in more than a decade.

Pennsylvania state Capitol building
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Democrats secured the majority in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives for the first time in more than a decade, giving them the power to block Republican legislation on abortion rights.

The Democrats won three special elections Tuesday, giving them a one-seat majority in the chamber. This is the first time they have held the majority since 2010, although Republicans still control the state Senate.

The slim but powerful majority now gives Democrats the power to block major Republican legislation, including a constitutional amendment stripping away protections for abortion rights.

Republicans passed a bill in July, just two weeks after Roe v. Wade was overturned, that would have amended the state constitution to declare there is no right to abortion in Pennsylvania. It would also have said there is no guarantee that taxpayer funds can be used for abortions.

The GOP controlled both the House and Senate at the time, and the bill passed easily. Then-Governor Tom Wolf had vowed to veto any abortion restriction laws, and current Governor Josh Shapiro similarly supports reproductive rights. But the bill was passed as part of a larger omnibus package that bypassed the governor and would create a new constitutional amendment that would be voted on by Pennsylvania residents.

Currently, anyone seeking an abortion in Pennsylvania must undergo state-mandated counseling designed to discourage them from getting the procedure and then wait 24 hours before proceeding. Abortion is not covered by insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act except in cases of rape, incest, or if the pregnant person’s life is in danger. The procedure is banned after 24 weeks except to save the pregnant person’s life.

The new bill needs to pass two legislative sessions, but the governor would be unable to stop the measure from going to a public vote if it does.

But with Democrats now in control of one of the chambers, the anti-abortion legislation is unlikely to pass.

There’s no guarantee it would have succeeded if it were put to a vote, though: Abortion rights helped deliver historic wins to Democrats during the midterm elections, including for Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman.

Five states had abortion rights–related measures on the ballot, and all five voted to protect access to the procedure.

Unfortunately, Republicans have proved they have no chill when things don’t go their way. In Kansas, after residents overwhelmingly voted in August to keep abortion rights in the state constitution, the state legislature is still trying to pass laws that would restrict abortion access.