Dave McCormick tries to outrun his anti-abortion views

Dave McCormick

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick greets supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event on May 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

May 20, 2024

Dave McCormick has flip-flopped so much on abortion it’s been hard keeping track of what he’s saying.

Where does Dave McCormick stand on abortion? It seems to depend on who’s asking and when, where, and how they ask him.

During his unsuccessful 2022 Senate campaign, McCormick said that he supported banning abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest.

But in recent months, McCormick, a former Connecticut-based hedge fund manager and the Republican nominee running against US Sen. Bob Casey this fall, has had a difficult time figuring out—and communicating—his position on abortion.

In a recent interview, McCormick contradicted his anti-abortion messaging on more than one occasion.

“I’m not in favor of any bans, federal bans, federal legislation. I’m in favor of the three exceptions. I’m for widely available contraception. I’m for supporting adoption in young families that are struggling. And I’m for restrictions on late term abortions,” McCormick said on the Dawn Stensland Show earlier this month.

In a matter of 20 seconds, McCormick said he’s against banning abortion, but then said he supports banning abortion in all cases with exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life, and that he supports banning abortions later in pregnancy.

This came just days after McCormick contradicted another prior stance he’d taken on abortion. McCormick told Gunther Rewind, a conservative radio show, that he believes abortion should be left up to the individual states and not the courts.

“I said in the last campaign that I think they shouldn’t, this is such a polarizing issue for America. This shouldn’t be decided by the courts. It should be decided by the states,” McCormick said last month.

However, after the May 2022 leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion, McCormick appeared on Breitbart and Fox News supporting the US Supreme Court’s decision.

“I believe and support court rulings and legislation that makes abortion less prevalent in our country, and ultimately moves us in a direction where there isn’t abortion,” McCormick said on Breitbart.

McCormick also appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show and called the court’s decision a “huge victory.”

“If in fact the decision of the court turns out what was in this brief, this would be a huge step forward and a huge victory for the protection of life, which is certainly where the conservative and Republican party is in Pennsylvania,” McCormick said.

Notably, leaving abortion up to the states—as McCormick told Gunther Rewind he supported doing—also effectively means supporting outright and six-week bans in dozens of states across the country, where tens of millions of American women live.

Following McCormick’s primary victory, Planned Parenthood issued a statement highlighting McCormick’s anti-abortion record and why he shouldn’t be trusted by Pennsylvania voters.

Despite his efforts to hide his abortion record, David McCormick is out of step with the majority of Pennsylvanians — who believe abortion should be between patients and their doctors, not politicians. McCormick is determined to move this country in the opposite direction,” Breanna Ross, the Pennsylvania state director for Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement.

“Pennsylvanians deserve a senator who will protect their health, not someone who will further assault their reproductive rights and endorse an abortion ban if elected.”



  • 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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