The future of abortion access in Pennsylvania could hinge on its governor’s race

Voters will pick Planned Parenthood fave Tom Wolf or “100 percent pro-life” Scott Wagner.

Gov. Wolf vetoed a 20-week abortion ban bill in December.

Gov. Wolf vetoed a 20-week abortion ban bill in December.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr
Sarah Anne Hughes

HARRISBURG — At a Planned Parenthood-sponsored panel in September, a woman asked Gov. Tom Wolf why, in a state where there are more Democrats and pro-choice residents, is the legislature so Republican and anti-abortion?

“Great question,” Wolf said to laughs.

That Wolf would appear at an event put on by a health care organization that’s become a political lightning rod isn’t a surprise. His election was hailed by Cecile Richards, then-president of the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as “pretty darn exciting.” He hasn’t backed down from his position supporting reproductive rights since taking office, vetoing a 20-week abortion ban bill in December and vowing to block similar legislation.

On that September day, Wolf pointed to gerrymandering as the reason why Republicans hold majorities in both General Assembly chambers, video from the forum shows. He was also asked how he deals with pushback to his unapologetic support for Planned Parenthood.

“Well, I’m very confident that I’m right,” he said, smiling. “All we’re trying to do is provide more options and more choices for human beings, our fellow citizens. I’m sorry, how is that wrong?”