What Would Pro-life Gov. Robert Casey Say About Campaign 2020?

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

I treasure the autographed copy of the book Fighting for Life, which has a place of prominence in our office library.

The book tells the moving story of the life of former Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr., who called himself the “First of the New Democrats.”

Casey was pro-life–unapologetically so. He signed into law the 1989 Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, which provided for 24 hour waiting periods for abortion, informed consent prior to abortion, parental consent for a minor’s abortion, and a ban on sex selection abortions.

The law became the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which ushered in a new era of legal protections for preborn children and their mothers.

Casey’s legacy? As a result of the Abortion Control Act, Pennsylvania’s abortion rate was cut in half. The law also became a model for the rest of the nation.

I cannot help thinking of the late Gov. Casey when I peruse the stands of the Democratic Presidential candidates on the life issues. National Right to Life has produced a helpful handout on the candidates’ positions, and they show unbridled support for the nation’s current policy of abortion on demand.

This is despite a Marist poll earlier this year showing more Democrats identifying as pro-life.

I think to myself, “What would Governor Casey say about the Democratic Presidential candidates’ full embrace of the pro-abortion agenda?”

And then I turn to page 182 of his book, and I think I’ve found the answer.

Back in April of 1992, when Planned Parenthood v. Casey was argued before the Supreme Court, reporters asked Casey for comment on the case.

He answered with a question: “In this debate, who speaks for the child?”

The answer among this year’s crop of Democratic Presidential candidates?

No one.