Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks at the Metal Worker's Local Union No. 19 in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Harris
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks at the Metal Worker's Local Union No. 19 in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

US Sen. Bob Casey is a self-proclaimed “pro-life Democrat,” and did not support the Women’s Health Protection Act the first time it came up for vote. He has pledged to support it this time.

Sen. Bob Casey has vowed to vote in favor of a measure that would codify into federal law abortion rights protections.

On Tuesday, Casey said he would vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which 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. Democrats are pushing the act in an effort to protect reproductive rights after a leaked draft opinion of a Supreme Court ruling shows the high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“In the nearly three months since the Senate last voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act, the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed,” Casey said. “In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent reports that Republicans in the US House and Senate will introduce legislation to enact a nationwide six-week ban, the real question of the moment is: do you support a categorical ban on abortion?  During my time in public office, I have never voted for—nor do I support—such a ban.”

The act failed to get majority support in the Senate in February, and Casey was one of just two sitting Democratic senators to not co-sponsor the bill. The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote on the measure soon.

Questions arose recently on how Casey would vote considering his uneven  past with abortion rights. 

Casey describes himself as a “pro-life Democrat.” While Casey’s votes have aligned with Planned Parenthood’s priorities two-thirds of the time since 2015, he 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.