Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Criticized in Abortion Ads, Says He’s Pro-Life

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Criticized in Abortion Ads, Says He’s Pro-Life Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 5,

Washington, DC ( — Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who maintains a pro-life position, has come under fire from two pro-life organizations for his pro-abortion votes. Focus on the Family and the Pennsylvania Family Institute placed ads in four newspapers across the state saying he has not voted consistently pro-life.

In the 2006 elections, Casey defeated Sen. Rick Santorum, a pro-life champion who shepherded the partial-birth abortion ban through Congress.

Casey represented himself as being from the same mold as his father, the late Robert Casey, a former Pennsylvania governor who became a pro-life hero when President Clinton’s campaign refused to let him speak at a Democratic convention.

However, Casey has voted twice against pro-life measures to limit abortion funding.

He first voted against the Mexico City Policy, which prevents taxpayer funds from going to groups that promote or perform abortions in other nations.

Casey also voted against the Vitter Amendment, which would ensure abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood don’t received money under the Title X family planning budget.

“Senator, be who you claim to be. Live up to your pro-life commitment," the ads read. "And if you are who you claim to be, then work to defend the most innocent, defenseless member of the human family, the unborn child.”

They continue: "We’re certain Pennsylvania’s voters will want to let Senator Casey know just what they think about his votes.”

Casey responded on Wednesday, calling himself "a pro-life Democrat" in a statement and introducing the Pregnant Women Support Act to help expectant mothers during and after pregnancy.

"I remember the times my wife Terese learned she was pregnant, and even though I can never experience it directly, I know through her and my sisters that there is one indelible and unforgettable moment when a woman finds out she is pregnant," Casey said on the Senate floor.

While this is "a moment of great joy" for most women, "it is a moment of terror, or panic or even shame" for some women, he explained.

Under Casey’s bill, S. 2407, pregnant and parenting students in college would receive financial assistance to find housing and childcare.

It would provide grants to pregnancy centers to purchase ultrasound machines, support parents of Down Syndrome children so they don’t feel they have to choose abortion, and it would help parents who may have abortions because of financial pressures.

"For the past 34 years, the abortion issue has been used mostly as a way to divide people, even as the number of abortions remains unacceptably high," he said.

He concluded: "We have to find a better way. I believe the Pregnant Women Support Act is part of that better way. We must work toward real solutions to the issue of abortion by targeting the underlying factors that often lead women to have abortions."