Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who ran as a pro-life advocate when he won a Senate term in 2006 and 2012, but who has disappointed pro-life advocates with repeated pro-abortion votes, continues to abandon his pro-life views.
A couple years ago, he voted against a measure to revoke taxpayer funding from the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Today, Casey voted for a bill to “overturn” the Supreme Court decision protecting Hobby Lobby from being forced to pay for drugs that may cause abortions.
Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews he is disappointed that Casey continues to abandon is publicly-stated pro-life views.
“The U.S. Supreme Court rightly affirmed religious liberty a few weeks ago when it ruled that the families who own Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties can exercise their religious beliefs. The high court agreed that business owners should not be forced to violate their beliefs by providing abortion-causing drugs/devices to their employees,” he said.
“We are disappointed that Sen. Casey has abandoned our nation’s founding principle of religious freedom by trying to overrule the Supreme Court’s decision,” he added. “We agree with Justice Samuel Alito that, had the Supreme Court ruled against Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, business owners could be forced to cover third-trimester abortions and assisted suicide.”
When Bob Casey defeated Rick Santorum for a Pennsylvania seat in the Senate, pro-life advocates hoped Casey would vote the same as his predecessor and his pro-life father, former Governor and stalwart pro-life Democrat Bob Casey, Sr. But, the younger Casey has consistently opposed pro-life efforts to divert federal tax money from the abortion business.
In September 2007, Casey voted for a pro-abortion amendment sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer seeking to overturn the Mexico City Policy, which prevents international family planning funds from going to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform and promote abortions overseas. Casey voted for the Boxer amendment and his spokesman, Larry Smar claimed Casey was taking a consistent position opposing abortion funding but funding abortion groups.
“He does not support public funding of abortion,” Smar said at the time. “The amendment he voted for would not allow public funding of abortion, which is illegal” under another provision.
Conservative writer David Freddoso responded, “The Boxer amendment does not put money directly into grants for providing abortions, but it funds groups that perform and refer them. Since money is fungible — that is, it can be used for anything — there is really no difference. That is why this amendment was so controversial, and why other pro-life senators … voted against it, and have voted against it in all of its many incarnations over the years.”
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Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com then: “Before the adoption of the Mexico City Policy, the U.S. government was the major funder of organizations that campaigned to legalize abortion in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere,” he said. “If the Boxer Amendment, which Sen. Casey regrettably supported, was enacted, it would force the removal of family planning funds from private organizations that stick to non-abortive methods, in order to give those funds to organizations that are committed to the promotion of abortion.”
The last time senators voted on Planned Parenthood funding, they rejected the Vitter amendment on a 52-41 vote in October 2007. Casey voted against the amendment along with Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who also considered himself pro-life.
ACTION: Make your views known about Senator Casey’s vote by going to https://casey.senate.gov/contact