Senate to Take Up Extreme Abortion Bill at Month’s End, and ‘Pro-Life’ Democrat Will Vote to Allow Debate
The U.S. Senate will vote later this month on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which the U.S. House of Representatives passed last September mostly along party lines, though Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) split with his party to vote against it. Pro-abortion Democrats laud how the bill will codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Such extreme legislation will also repeal virtually all pro-life successes at the state level. While the bill is unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster, one so-called pro-life Democrat issued a statement on Friday indicating he will vote to proceed with debate on it.
The Democrat in question is Sen. Bob Casey Jr., of Pennsylvania. His father, Bob Casey Sr., was a pro-life stalwart and former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and whose name appears in the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.
It is not clear if Casey will vote for the actual legislation. Such a statement was enough to earn condemnation from pro-life groups, though.
Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) was so shocked by the senator’s statement that she questioned if his account had been hacked.
Although the organization appeared to enthusiastically support Sen. Casey in his 2018 re-election bid, there are also more recent mentions of the senator on the DFLA website criticizing his actions and voting records.
“DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE CONDEMNS SENATOR CASEY’S VOTES TO APPEASE ABORTION LOBBY,” read a release from last August, taking issue with his voting against a 20-week abortion ban.
Not only did that release include a statement from Day questioning “What would his father say[,]” it also addressed the midterms, now less than nine months away.
“His votes [on August 10, 2021] will assist Republicans to win more seats in the mid-terms since a majority of Americans oppose his radical positions on abortion,” said Day. “There has to be something more to his drastic change from opposition to abortion to unreserved support for abortion. I have requested a meeting with Senator Casey to gain an understanding of what he meant when he said he was still with us on Hyde. He cannot call himself a Pro-Life Democrat and not give the even most basic protections to the unborn. There really is no justification I can think of for his votes. I am eager to hear what he was to say.”
While Casey had an 80 percent rating from DFLA in 2015, Project Vote Smart indicates a more pro-abortion position, certainly in contrast to his father, based on more recent ratings.
NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Sen. Casey a 72 percent rating in 2020, while Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s rating for him for 2021-2022 was 67 percent.
The Family Research Council (FRC) Action, gave him an 11 percent rating for 2021, while the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) gave him a 25 percent rating for that year. The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) meanwhile gave him a 0 percent rating.
In a statement for Townhall, Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, also referenced Bob Casey Sr.
“We are deeply disappointed with Senator Bob Casey’s decision to vote ‘yes’ for debate for a measure that should be called ‘The Abortion Without Limits Bill.’ The bill would codify the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 63 million preborn children and has devastated countless mothers who are left to grieve children lost to abortion,” Gallagher said.
“Senator Casey’s father, the late Governor Robert Casey, Sr., consistently placed principle over politics to defend the rights of the most vulnerable among us. One has to wonder what Casey’s Dad would think of his son’s capitulation to the abortion industry,” Gallagher added.
In a release from the SBA List, the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser not only condemned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for having filed cloture on Thursday, but also called Sen. Casey out by name.
“Senator Casey’s flip to supporting abortion on demand is a disgrace to the legacy of his hero father. Like that of Joe Biden, it exposes how the Democratic Party has caved to pro-abortion extremism,” said Dannenfelser. “Casey’s overall voting record is not pro-life, yet as late as 2020 he voted for legislation to stop late-term abortions when unborn babies can feel pain. Now with millions of lives at stake in the Dobbs case, he stands with Chuck Schumer and the abortion lobby to advance the ‘Abortion Until Birth Act’ and enshrine an unlimited abortion ‘right’ in federal law – a radical agenda Americans across the political spectrum reject. We urge every one of our Senate allies to stand firm against this assault on innocent life and on democracy, and we will work tirelessly to hold members of Congress accountable,” she continued.
Sen. Casey expressed hope in the tweeted out statement that “as part of this debate we will also focus on new and substantial funding for pregnant women, infants, and children.”
Nowhere in the bill’s text however, which reads as extreme as one can get when it comes to promoting abortion, is there mention of reducing abortions or for looking after pregnant women, infants, and children other than to impose abortion on them.
The bill has support from the White House as communicated by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, which she did in light of last month’s March for Life.