Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Receives Key Pro-Life Endorsement

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Receives Key Pro-Life Endorsement

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
March 29, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The man who hopes to unseat veteran pro-abortion Senator Arlen Specter (R) has received a key pro-life endorsement.

The National Right to Life Committee is supporting Pat Toomey, a Republican Congressman, in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race. Toomey faces Specter in the GOP primary April 27.

"This primary poses the starkest possible contrast between Pat Toomey, a candidate committed to the protection of human life, and Arlen Specter, who has a callous disregard for the most defenseless members of the human family," said Carol Tobias, NRLC’s political director.

According to Tobias, last week’s vote on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Conner’s Law, proved once again that the pro-life community cannot rely on Specter.

"Specter voted for final passage of the bill only after supporting a killer amendment that refused to acknowledge the unborn child as a second victim when a pregnant woman is assaulted in a federal crime," Tobias said.

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which has the support of 80 percent of the American public, states that the unborn child can be considered a second victim when he or she is injured or killed during the commission of a federal crime of violence.

Specter, however, endorsed the position that such crimes only have one victim. As Tobias points out, only seven to ten percent of the American public support the one-victim position backed by Specter.

Following the Senate vote, NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said, "When a criminal attacks a woman who carries an unborn child, he claims two victims–but Senator Specter voted that the law should say there is only one victim."

The bill is nicknamed after Laci and Conner Peterson, a woman and her unborn son, who were murdered in California more than a year ago. President George W. Bush has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Specter has attempted to court the pro-life vote by supporting final passage of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. However, before voting for the PBA ban, Specter voted for an amendment upholding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.

Specter has also consistently fought to change the Republican Party platform in an effort to move the GOP away from a pro-life position.

"Arlen Specter supports abortion for any reason, even as a method of birth control," Tobias said. "Pat Toomey believes that we protect our families and our future when we protect unborn babies and their mothers. Unborn babies will be well-served with Pat Toomey in the Senate."

Toomey posted a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the last Congress, according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. The group’s Political Action Committee also supports Toomey in the Republican primary.

While Specter has the backing of the Republican Party, a number of political analysts have sharply criticized the incumbent lawmaker.

Last September, the National Review ran a cover story with Specter’s picture headlined, "The Worst Republican Senator." The story carried the subtitle, "Why Pennsylvania should get rid of Arlen Specter."

While Toomey is considered the underdog in the GOP race, recent polls suggest he could be within striking distance of Specter. As a result, the primary election is emerging as one of the most closely-watched political match-ups in the country.

National Right to Life Committee –
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation –
Toomey for Senate campaign –