Abortion ban advocates rally for Carluccio’s Supreme Court bid

March for Life rally sign

March for Life rally-goer holding sign supporting crisis pregnancy center provider Real Alternatives on Oct. 16, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

October 17, 2023

Thousands gathered in Harrisburg for the yearly anti-abortion rally. Rally goers and GOP lawmakers are still upset about Gov. Josh Shapiro canceling state contracts with crisis pregnancy center providers.


Thousands of anti-abortion advocates filled the steps of the Pennsylvania state capitol for the annual March for Life demonstration. Monday’s crowd contained hundreds of high school students from Catholic schools around the state.

The rally was hosted by the national March for Life organization and the Pennsylvania Family Institute, who are responsible for pushing book bans in the Central Bucks School District, according to WHYY.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, who endorsed Carolyn Carluccio for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and doesn’t believe in any exceptions for abortion, sent buses of supporters from all around the state for the rally.

A billboard truck paid for by The Justice Project, a national organization that focuses on state supreme court races, met the march as they were going around the capitol. It read, “PA March for Life’s Plan. Elect Caroyln Carluccio. Ban abortion without exceptions.”

A couple dozen Republicans from the House and Senate caucuses attended the beginning of the rally when State Rep. Rob Kail (R-Indiana) and State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) spoke.

Both legislators directed their ire at Gov. Josh Shapiro for terminating the commonwealth’s contract with Real Alternatives, an anti-abortion organization that helps fund crisis pregnancy providers in Pennsylvania.

After the budget passed in August, Shapiro announced that his administration would end their contract with Real Alternatives once it expires at the end of the year. The organization has received over $100 million in funding from the state since the mid 1990’s and they were set to receive a $2 million increase in the 2023 budget.

“We are seeing people today celebrate the end to vital programs that support the sanctity of life and vulnerable mothers,” said Phillips-Hill.“We should never be ok with the other side claiming victory for ending valuable programs that promote the sanctity of life.”

A recent lawsuit filed in Massachusetts underscores the danger crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) present to women. The plaintiff in the case stated that a nurse from a CPC failed to recognize an ectopic pregnancy, which isn’t viable, and abortion care is required because if left untreated they can cause internal bleeding and threaten the life of the mother.

State Rep. Rob Mercrui (R-Allegheny), who is challenging Congressman Chris Deluzio (D-Allegheny) in the 2024 election, was in attendance. He was on stage with his Republican colleagues.

Prior to launching his congressional campaign, Mercuri removed all anti-abortion language from his campaign’s website, but the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, preserved the legislator’s anti-abortion stances.

It stated, “A proud pro-life and pro-family leader, he will continue to defend the sanctity of life compassionately through all its phases and always keep the needs of families in mind when crafting policy.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.


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