Casey’s Support of Abortion Rights or Abortion Bans Depends on the Bill

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By Ashley Adams

May 5, 2022

US Sen. Bob Casey is a self-proclaimed “pro-life Democrat,” but his voting history on reproductive rights doesn’t reflect that. Now that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, will Casey sway pro-life or Democrat?

Sen. Bob Casey describes himself as a “pro-life Democrat.” His seemingly contradictory stance could soon be put to the test.

After a draft of a US Supreme Court decision leaked recently, indicating a likelihood that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, pro-choice advocates renewed calls for federal lawmakers to pass a law that would preserve abortion rights.

Casey didn’t comment publicly on the leaked draft opinion. He instead issued a noncommittal statement.

“If this draft opinion becomes the final opinion of the Court, I have serious concerns about what overturning almost 50 years of legal precedent will mean for women in states passing near or total bans on abortion,” Casey said. “Congress should be working to reduce the number of abortions and unintended pregnancies and doing much more to support women and families.”

So we’re left to wonder how will his votes sway going forward on the topic of abortion? 

According to Planned Parenthood, Casey’s votes have aligned with their priorities two-thirds of the time since 2015. His votes aligned with NARAL Pro-Choice America 72% of the time in 2020, according to that organization’s Congressional Record on Reproductive Freedom.

Yet, Casey has been anti-abortion in the past. He supported banning federal funds for abortions and voted in favor of a Senate bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks in 2018.

In 2020, Casey voted in favor of a bill that would have required health care providers to make every attempt possible to save the life of a child born alive after an attempted abortion. The bill failed to advance.

The US House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last September. The act protects a healthcare provider’s rights to perform abortions, expands access to abortion as an essential part of health care, and protects women’s right to choose without discrimination or interference. It failed to get majority support in the Senate, and Casey was one of just two sitting Democratic senators to not co-sponsor the bill. 

Senate Democrats have pledged to attempt a new vote on the bill. 

Casey’s father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr., was famously pro-life and was a central figure in the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. At issue was Pennsylvania’s law that imposed restrictions on women seeking abortions, including a waiting period as well as spousal and parental consent.

The Supreme Court voted in favor of Planned Parenthood, 5-4, upholding the right to an abortion.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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