March 4, 2024 3:34 pm
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GOP Candidate Doug Mastriano Doubles Down on Health Care Restrictions

AP Photo

Parker Wallis 

Roe v. Wade has been overturned, abortion rights are not protected under Pennsylvania’s constitution, and Doug Mastriano wants to swoop into the governor’s office to make things even worse. 

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator and GOP gubernatorial candidate, has made his intentions as governor blatantly clear: enforcing a Texas-style ban of abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and releasing a series of executive orders to restrict abortion access. 

At a Southern York Meet and Greet in May 2022, Mastriano was reported saying, “So on day one, I have a series of executive orders… But you obviously want to back up the legislation. So they’re codified in the law. So after my eight years are up, the next governor can’t overturn them.”

Before the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Mastriano voiced his support for a Texas-style abortion ban.  During Pennsylvania’s Republican primary debate, Mastriano kicked his support up a notch, “I don’t give way for exceptions,” and on a Turley Talks Facebook Live, he said, “I want abortion to end, period.” His endgame is a total ban. Under Mastriano’s Pennsylvania, administering an abortion would become a crime. 

In addition to removing accessible health care from millions of women, trans men, and non-binary people across Pennsylvania, Mastriano’s plans will also have a ripple effect outside of state lines. 

Residents in adjacent states depend on Pennsylvania as access to reproductive health care is being rolled back. “As these states fall, domino after domino, the distance people have to travel will increase,” says Leah Litman, a University of Michigan law school professor. Should abortion be banned in Pennsylvania, as per Mastriano’s wishes, people will have fewer, more unsafe options. 

Furthermore, anti-choice activists and Republican-controlled legislatures are now discussing laws that would give people the right to sue individuals outside of state lines for helping their residents receive abortions, even in states where abortion is legal.

Currently, Pennsylvania allows abortion access until 24 weeks into the pregnancy, and attempts from the GOP-controlled legislature to restrict further access have been vetoed by Governor Wolf. Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has said he will continue to veto anti-abortion legislation as governor. 

On the other hand, Doug Mastriano, who bused protesters to D.C. before the January 6th Capitol riot, regurgitates Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, and has touted QAnon conspiracy theories, would rather restrict reproductive health care rights, making the state less safe for people with uteruses.