For as long as I have been employed by Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania, our organization has been non-partisan and in elections have backed candidates from both major parties. In the past, we have even endorsed Frank Farry who, as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House, had a mixed record on reproductive healthcare policies but was not 100 percent opposed to our positions.
However, in this election, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC has endorsed Ann Marie Mitchell in her campaign against Frank Farry for Pennsylvania Senate in District 6.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, abortion rights have exclusively become the domain of state legislatures, changing our organization’s threshold for supporting candidates and legislators running for re-election. No longer can we afford to support members of a party who allow outright abortion bans—without exception—to come up for a vote in both chambers of our General Assembly. Our position is clear: unequivocally support a right to an abortion or we cannot support you.
The time for playing nice with legislators who claim to be pro-choice at home and then go to Harrisburg and put the most extreme anti-choice members of their party in charge of the agenda—and even vote with them—is over. Frank Farry may bill himself as “independent,” but he will go to Harrisburg and join the likes of Doug Mastriano when it comes to protecting reproductive rights.
Not only have times changed when it comes to who we support in elections, but Frank Farry has changed, too.
There was a time when we, as an organization, could approach Frank Farry and have a productive conversation about the needs of our healthcare providers and patients. But twice in the past year Frank Farry has voted to limit abortion rights in Pennsylvania. First, when he voted for House Bill 1095- a fetal homicide bill that blurred the line of “fetal personhood” and paved the way to threaten pregnant people with investigation and criminalization.
Then, in July of this year, Farry voted with nearly every other member of the Republican caucus in favor of amending Pennsylvania’s constitution to raise the voting age from 18 to 21 years old, in direct violation of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and to take away the right to an abortion in Pennsylvania.
At a time when reproductive healthcare from IVF to abortion is under attack in this country, Planned Parenthood must be able to rely on its elected allies. If Frank Farry ever was pro-choice, he certainly isn’t today, and we cannot count on him to stand up for the rights of women of Pennsylvania.
To keep abortion safe in Pennsylvania, it must remain legal. That is why we urge the voters of the 6th Senate District in Bucks County to vote for Ann Marie Mitchell on November 8.