Stelson: Protecting reproductive rights “is not something that is negotiable”

Janelle Stelson speaking to supporters at The Englewood in Hershey, PA. after winning the Democratic primary for the Pennsylvania 10th Congressional District on April 23, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

April 24, 2024

Former TV news anchor Janelle Stelson won a five-way Democratic party to challenge Scott Perry in November, and protecting reproductive rights will define the race.

Protecting reproductive rights and abortion access were at the top of Janelle Stelson’s mind on Tuesday after she was nominated by Democratic voters to challenge embattled Republican incumbent Congressman Scott Perry (R-York) this fall.

“That is one of the first things I will do in Congress, try to recodify Roe v. Wade,” Stelson said to her supporters. “This is not something that is negotiable.”

Stelson is a former TV news anchor with WGLA, which covers the Harrisburg area, and she explained how she had to tell women in the region that they lost their reproductive rights following the Dobbs decision.

“I was live on the set in 2022 when the Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” Stelson said.

“I had to look out into the camera in my best nonpartisan way at the time and tell every woman watching that their rights have been rolled back 50 years and that their daughters wouldn’t have the same rights that our mothers had.”

Democrats in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District may have shied away from campaigning on preserving reproductive rights in years past, but that may catch up with Perry over the next several months.

Perry supports the Life at Conception Act, which states that all life begins at conception and would ban abortions and possibly in vitro fertilization (IVF), which allows women who have trouble conceiving a child to start a family.

“When I’m knocking doors, when I’m taking calls, on social media, phone banking, people tell us how disturbed they are and the fact that Scott Perry wants a nationwide abortion ban with no exceptions [for] rape, incest or health of the mother. And he wants to ban IVF, ” Stelson told The Keystone.

“This is one of the reasons I’m running. This cannot be allowed to stand.”

Amy Milsten, President of the Central York School Board, echoed the same concerns when it came to Perry’s anti-abortion record.

“He has to go,” Milsten told The Keystone. “He is against women’s rights. He is absolutely anti-abortion, and he helped Donald Trump try to overturn the election and take my vote away from me.”


  • 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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