If the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the decision on abortion rights will be determined at the state level. In Pennsylvania, what exactly that means might just come down to who is elected governor in November.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the future of reproductive rights in Pennsylvania hinges on who wins the race for governor in November, and only one leading gubernatorial candidate would protect the right to an abortion.
Pennsylvania’s current law on abortion allows for the termination of a pregnancy up to 24 weeks. The majority-GOP state Legislature has repeatedly pushed legislation that would limit access to abortion care. Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto pen has been the last line of defense in the fight for reproductive rights in the commonwealth.
But, as Wolf nears his term limit, the door to the governor’s house in Harrisburg is wide open.
Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro said he would veto any anti-abortion bill that came to his desk if he was elected governor.
All Republican candidates support a full or partial ban on abortion in the commonwealth.
The future of abortion rights in the state will be decided at the ballot box. Here’s each candidate’s stance on reproductive rights.
Shapiro is a vocal supporter of reproductive rights and has continually said he will veto any anti-abortion legislation that comes to his desk if elected. He is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming primary.
The former congressman and supporter of former President Donald Trump said he will be a “pro-life governor.” He said he would sign pro-life legislation but does support abortion in some instances such as cases of rape and incest and if the mother’s life is in danger.
Jake Corman has supported legislation restricting access to abortion care in Pennsylvania as President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, but has not said whether he would sign such legislation into law if elected governor.
The Montgomery County commissioner supports a full abortion ban, describing himself as 100% pro-life without exceptions. He said he would support a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
According to his campaign website, Charlie Gerow is a “staunch supporter of the right to life,” and would sign a law to make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected. He also supports providing women facing problem pregnancies with positive alternatives “to enable them to choose life.”
The former congresswoman has a history of sponsoring and advancing pro-life legislation both in the state Legislature and in Congress. She said she is “unequivocally pro-life.”
She has not stated what type of legislation — full or partial ban of abortion — she would support if elected governor.
As a state senator, Doug Mastriano introduced a bill in 2021 that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, roughly six weeks into a pregnancy.
The former US Attorney under Trump said he will be a pro-life governor and would sign a fetal heartbeat bill if such legislation made it to his desk as governor. He does support exceptions for rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.
Dave White is a vocal support of an abortion ban, and has said he will support legislation that includes no exceptions for terminating a pregnancy. He hailed the draft ruling by the US Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying the federal precedent “has stained our nation.”
The medical doctor said he is pro-life and believes that the lives of both mother and child must be protected and preserved. He has not specifically explained his stance nor what legislation he would support if elected governor.