Dear Senator Casey,
A book on our office shelf bears the noble title, “Fighting for Life.” It tells the story of one man’s heroic defense of the sanctity and dignity of human life. The book bears the signature “Bob Casey.” But it was not written by you. It was written by your father, whose name you share. What an honor that is.
Governor Casey wrote of the challenges he faced as a pro-life Democrat. As he recounted an appearance before the Democratic platform committee, he wrote, “How, I concluded, could this party, which claimed to leave no one out and no one behind, abandon the most vulnerable and defenseless member of the human family—the unborn child?”
Gov. Casey requested an opportunity to speak at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. He wrote a letter to the party chairman to make the request: “The platform committee draft…has the effect of placing the national party even more squarely within the abortion-on-demand camp. I believe this is a serious mistake for the party and would like the opportunity to present this point of view, shared by many Democrats, to the convention.”
He eventually saw a letter, which was not even addressed to him, saying his request to speak was out of order and would be denied.
Also in 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the provisions of Pennsylvania’s landmark Abortion Control Act, which provides for parental consent, informed consent, and a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. The court case was titled, “Planned Parenthood v. Casey.” Planned Parenthood took on your father and, for the most part, the abortion giant lost.
More than 20 years later, you have embraced the very organization that took your father to court. In announcing your decision not to vote for the federal defunding of Planned Parenthood, you were quoted as saying, “Planned Parenthood facilities provide vital services, like cervical and breast cancer screenings and primary health care, to millions of low-income women, and it’s important that those services continue.”
But those services would have continued under the defunding measure, because the money was being redirected to community health centers which, according to published reports, do provide mammograms, which Planned Parenthood does not. The issue was not health care for women, because that would continue to be funded. The issue was whether a half-billion dollars of hard-earned tax money should be channeled to a morally bankrupt organization where a doctor blithely discusses harvesting baby body parts while sipping wine and eating salad…where another doctor haggles over the price of an unborn child’s lungs, liver, or head.
The Planned Parenthood officials appearing in these undercover videos speak about changing abortion techniques to harvest intact organs, which would be a violation of federal law. They do so unapologetically and without remorse. Do you condone such actions? Have you even viewed the videos? And if not, why not?
While secular news reports describe you as pro-life, the defunding bill was not a pro-life/pro-choice issue. It was a question of fiscal accountability, concerns about legality, ethics, and common human decency.
Included in Governor Casey’s book is a commencement address he gave at Franciscan University. There, he stated, “The world will try again and again, in a thousand different forms, to sell you power, popularity, acceptance. But look very closely because usually the price is a high one. The price is to surrender the greatest power and freedom any man or woman could ever have—your conscience.”
With your vote to stop the defunding of the nation’s largest abortion operation, Senator Casey, you won accolades from Planned Parenthood. If you toured their facilities—the ones you champion—I wonder if they would show you where they pick through the body parts of a dead unborn baby and exclaim, “Another boy!”
What do you think your father would say about that?
Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director