The truth behind Bob Casey’s ‘pro-life’ stand

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The two-term Democrat insists that Pennsylvanians be aware of depth of his opposition to abortion – one that is closely linked with his father’s reputation as perhaps the nation’s best-known anti-abortion Democrat – and this Washington advocacy organizations along with their scorecards don’t say much about moderates like him.

“I think it’s clear to the majority of people who the description of pro-life Democrat is accurate. I’ve been very consistent,” Casey told POLITICO within a interview. “What it indicates is I aim to support policies that help girls and children both before and after birth. Element of that may be being confident that you might be honest about differences but additionally as well wanting to look at methods to reduce the quantity of abortions along with the wide variety of unwanted pregnancies, and my record reflects that.”

Casey’s voting record in Congress aligns significantly with abortion rights groups for instance Planned Parenthood and NARAL. He has voted together with Planned Parenthood 75 percent within the time since 2011. And the man voted with NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent within the time in 2016 and 2017, although his 2018 rating is sure to be lower.

Earlier this current year, the senator backed a GOP measure to ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, prior to when current law allows, which will bolster Casey’s anti-abortion record. However, for much of the anti-abortion movement, it’s not enough.

The 20-week ban “should are an uncomplicated elect all members of Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Straight away to Life Committee, which in mid-June endorsed Barletta.

Like many conservative organizations, National Directly to Life puts an incredible increased exposure of the outcome the courts is capable of having over the way ahead for abortion policy.

“The telling vote was against Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court,” Tobias said of Casey. “That was critical.”

Scorecards are an imperfect calculation of an lawmaker’s position. Each organization calculates them differently, and groups on both sides from the abortion debate have swept in tangentially related issues, for instance Top court nominees, contraception, Obamacare repeal, free speech as well as the Senate filibuster rules.

Casey’s campaign stopped working the votes on every one of the three scorecards for POLITICO and said that under their calculation, 15 waste legislation in Casey’s career dealt directly with abortion. Casey cast the anti-abortion vote on 13 of those measures, which covered issues much like the 20-week abortion ban, funding for that U . n . Population Fund, prohibiting abortion inside the Indian health program and restricting minors’ use of abortion.

Two votes were considered simply abortion rights, including opposition to prohibiting entry to private health plans which cover abortion and prohibiting medication abortion.

“Some groups have an overwhelming preference first party. I do believe that’s pretty clear. There are Republican groups and Democratic groups. Whichever the whites or other does or what your voting record is, they will apply a label to you personally,” Casey said, alluding to the fact that anti-abortion groups increasingly align with Republicans. “In the top, groups down here i will discuss not going to be an arbiter of the items only occurs in Pennsylvania. Individuals our state, they do know me practically these days. They’ll enjoy all of that information making their own individual decision.”

It’s true Casey walks an alternative path while on an issue the location where the majority of lawmakers Velcro themselves recommended to their party’s ideological position.

Like conservative anti-abortion groups, he opposes the Roe decision and opposes the taxpayer funding with the procedure. But like progressive abortion rights organizations, he supports Obamacare, admission to contraception through programs like Title X and funding for Planned Parenthood.

All three of those issues have become somewhat more contentious in recent years – and boost Casey’s scorecard among abortion rights groups. The debate over Obamacare – including whether coverage would cover abortion – dramatically pulled apart the parties on abortion, a rift that is definitely still visible. A 2015 group of sting videos alleging that Planned Parenthood sold fetal body parts made funding to your organization extremely controversial.

But Casey argues that supporting Obamacare and backing access to contraception and Planned Parenthood funding are anti-abortion positions.

“The evidence is pretty strong: for people with entry to family planning and programs, the abortion rate is about to drop. There are actually fewer unwanted pregnancies much less occasions certainly where an woman is met with that call if she’s entry to family planning and birth prevention,” Casey said. “That’s why I support Planned Parenthood; this is why I support Title X.”

One anti-abortion group continues to view Casey being an ally. “He is utterly a pro-life Democrat,” said Democrats for all his life executive director Kristen Day. “Planned Parenthood funding – which is the an area of disagreement. But he’s still a pro-life Democrat.”

Casey has put a focus on pregnancy support programs, an element that he says should get more support all lawmakers, no matter their position on abortion. He’s introduced legislation to wish employers for making reasonable accommodations for expecting mothers operate, and he’s backed funding for maternal health programs.

“We can debate this concern all day, or you can target areas of mutual understanding – it’s so simple as three words: help pregnant women,” Casey said. “If each side are up to that, not simply would the quantity of unwanted pregnancies go lower, however are quite likely going to have women with healthy pregnancies.”

Barletta isn’t prone to debate the nuances inside the upcoming campaign, instead arguing Casey has lost all credibility being an opponent of abortion.

“Bob Casey Jr., whilst was elected, was pro-life in the first term,” Barletta said. “But they have moved to this point left after that they have no record voting for life from now on. We have a misconception by a few that he is still a moderate pro-life Democrat, along with his record mirrors Elizabeth Warren’s.”

Unlike the few others anti-abortion Democrats on Capitol Hill, Casey’s credentials ought to play competitively with kids legacy. His father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, was perhaps the nation’s best-known “pro-life Democrat.”

In 1991, Casey Sr. asked the final Court to overturn Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a now-famous ruling that enshrined the Roe decision but allowed states to enact hurdles to access. And the man was banned from making an anti-abortion speech with the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

Barletta and anti-abortion groups are quick to help make the comparison – National Directly to Life, in announcing its endorsement of Barletta, delivered a stinging personal rebuke towards senator by comparing him to Casey Sr.

“Bob Casey is just not his father,” Tobias said during the statement.

Marilyn Musgrave, vp of government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List, said Casey Jr. has “squandered” his father’s legacy.

“His father paid an amount as being pro-life,” Musgrave said. “Sen. Casey is intending to obtain it each way now.”

Casey declined to compare his record with his father’s but hinted that it must be an apples-to-oranges comparison.

“It’s natural for those who have a couple from the same family in public office you are likely to have those comparisons, we you can keep them on a range of issues,” he said. “But those comparisons will almost allways be extraordinarily difficult, usually unfair to all parties and out of the question accurately as you have folks in various positions in public areas office at different times.”

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