Pennsylvania Gov Tom Wolf Faces Tough Re-Election After Defending Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 23, 2018   |   1:31PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania voters will decide in November if they want to keep their radical pro-abortion Democrat governor in office.

Gov. Tom Wolf, who used to volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, has maintained a close relationship with the largest abortion provider in America. During his first term in office, he has opposed several abortion restrictions that have strong public support. And he continues to voice his opposition to a bill that would protect unborn babies with disabilities from discrimination.

Republican challenger Scott Wagner is pro-life, and has a 100-percent pro-life voting record in the state Senate.

The AP predicted the abortion issue will be a major factor in the gubernatorial election. A new poll shows Wagner and Wolf are very close, with Wagner trailing by just 3 percentage points.

Among Wolf’s most radical pro-abortion moves, he vetoed a bill in December that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Late-term abortion bans have strong public support, and the United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, a fact confirmed by the Washington Post fact checker.

His veto also stopped legislation that would have prohibited brutal dismemberment abortions that tear nearly fully formed unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are beating.

More recently, Wolf said he also would veto a bill to prohibit discriminatory abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome. Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can have an abortion before 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason except sex selection. State House Bill 2050 would expand that exception to include a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Wolf said he would veto the legislation, and his spokesman claimed there is no evidence of discrimination against babies with Down syndrome.

“There is no evidence that this practice is even occurring, yet this is another example of Harrisburg Republicans exploiting vulnerable families and trying to undermine the doctor-patient relationship to score political points,” spokesman J.J. Abbott told CNHI.

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But pro-life and disability rights advocates said there is strong evidence that the law is very much needed. According to CBS News, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.

Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortions.

Wolf also has made frequent visits to Planned Parenthood facilities as governor, and, early in his administration, he appointed one of the abortion group’s board members as his chief of staff.

The AP described him as a “staunch supporter of abortion rights.”

In contrast, his Republican challenger has voted consistently in favor of pro-life legislation. Wagner said he would support the Down syndrome protection law, according to the report.

During a campaign stop Wednesday in Cambria County, Wagner assured voters that he will work to protect unborn babies’ lives in office, WJAC TV reports.

“(I’m) 100% pro-life and I have a 100% pro-life voting record,” Wagner said.