Republican Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and he plans to campaign on the issue as he takes on Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in the fall.
Many abortion rights groups worry that if a conservative justice replaces retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy this year, the court may be willing to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe decision.
“I’m 100 percent pro life. I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record,” Barletta said in a interview in the Capitol Thursday.
Barletta noted that, by contrast, National Right to Life rated Casey’s anti-abortion voting record at 20 percent in its most recent ranking of senators.
“Many people remember his father [former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey], who was a fighter for life. Bob Casey Jr. was a fighter for life when he ran for his first term against Rick Santorum,” Barletta said
“There’s a misperception that he’s still a moderate pro-life Democrat … his record mirrors [Massachussetts Democratic Sen.] Elizabeth Warren’s,” he said.
Max Steele, a spokesman for the Casey campaign, said that while Casey “is opposed to Roe, he’s focused on finding areas of common ground to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and making sure pregnant women and new mothers have the resources they need.”
“By focusing on areas of agreement between people on both sides of this debate, he’s been able to pass legislation like the Pregnancy Assistance Fund and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act,” Steele said.
Earlier this year, Casey drew criticism from abortion rights groups for voting with Republicans to advance a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill failed to muster the support to advance to a vote in the Senate.