Anti-abortion Democrat Bob Casey announces support for legislation to codify Roe

Senator Bob Casey, one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in the Senate, announced on Tuesday that he would support Democrats’ legislation to codify the protections in Roe v Wade.

Mr Casey’s father, Bob Casey Sr, was governor of Pennsylvania and ardently opposed to abortion and the elder Casey’s name is the namesake for Planned Parenthood v Casey, the 1992 Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed the constitutional right to an abortion.

In 2006, Mr Casey ran on being “pro life” and “pro life, pro gun” when he beat arch-conservative Republican Senator Rick Santorum. In 2008, he spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention about his disagreement with Democratic nominee Barack Obama on abortion.

“Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion. But the fact that I’m speaking here tonight is testament to Barack’s ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him.”

When the Women’s Health Protection Act, Democrats’ legislation to codify the protections within Roe v Wade, failed to pass the Senate last time, Mr Casey voted to allow the debate to proceed. But Mr Casey cited the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that showed that the conservative majority was ready to overturn Roe v Wade.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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,” he said.

“In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent reports that Republicans in the U.S. 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.”