PENNSYLVANIA — New reporting from the Philadelphia Inquirer highlights how a woman’s right to choose will be a major issue in the 2022 midterms. When asked if they would support a “Texas-style” abortion ban in Pennsylvania, the entire Senate field dodged the question while voicing support for anti-choice policies.
Republican candidates have been less vocal on the Texas ban, quick to describe themselves as antiabortion but reserved about whether they would support a similar law here.
There’s good reason for Republican candidates for Senate and governor to remain mostly quiet on the Texas ban, said David Dix, a strategist in Pennsylvania who has worked with both parties.
The Texas law is wildly unpopular even with Republicans in Texas, according to an NPR and Marist poll. That’s partly due to its provisions — allowing private citizens to enforce the law by suing neighbors, physicians, and clinics. Pennsylvania is also a more moderate state and Republicans here want to hold on to the reliably Republican antiabortion coalition without alienating potential voters like suburban women who often favor abortion rights, Dix said.
“Most sensible Republicans recognize to take a [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott-like stance would be political demise,” Dix said.
Former ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, who marched in last month’s Harrisburg March for Life, told The Inquirer she is “unapologetically pro-life” but didn’t give details on what changes she would or wouldn’t support. The same went for Senate candidates Sean Parnell and Jeff Bartos.
Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Doyle issued a statement:
“In failing to oppose extreme Texas-style reproductive rights restrictions here in Pennsylvania, the entire GOP Senate field is demonstrating that they are more focused on appeasing an extreme base and their own intra party infighting than advocating for the people of Pennsylvania.”