By Marissa Leslie
The brave testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and subsequent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have revealed yet again the stark contrast in Pennsylvania’s race for governor– Governor Tom Wolf has consistently stood on the side of Pennsylvania’s women while Scott Wagner has made clear that he does not support women and would take Pennsylvania backwards.
Governor Wolf issued a statement of support for Dr. Ford, calling her allegations credible and demanding an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Scott Wagner, on the other hand, posted a despicable video in which he accused Dr. Ford of being part of a political conspiracy to bring down President Trump and called for the confirmation of Kavanaugh.
The difference between Governor Wolf and Wagner’s responses to this situation is representative of their actions throughout the Me Too era. Governor Wolf has been an unwavering ally of the Me Too movement– he called for the resignations of elected officials accused of sexual misconduct on both sides of the aisle. Additionally, he announced a package of reforms aimed at strengthening protections against sexual harassment and discrimination. He also launched “It’s On Us PA,” the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools.
Wagner, on the other hand, refused to call on Representative Pat Meehan to resign even after it was revealed that he used $40,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim. Now, he is continuing to support Brett Kavanaugh despite multiple credible allegations of sexual assault against him. This is a pattern.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation also poses an extreme risk for the future of reproductive health rights across the country. Luckily, Governor Wolf has continuously proven his commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose. He vetoed Senate Bill 3, which would have been the most restrictive abortion law in the country by proposing a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest, health or tragic fetal anomalies. He promised to veto any attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and strongly opposed the Trump administration’s gag rule. He and his wife Frances even used to volunteer as escorts for Planned Parenthood.
I have seen the pressure women go through while attempting to access care at Planned Parenthood. They are hounded and screamed at by people waiving signs at them and calling them names. It’s saddening. Women need someone who will walk beside them in their right to access health care. And that’s Governor Wolf.
Wagner, on the other hand, said he would sign a six week abortion ban as governor, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. Wagner proudly co-sponsored Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 300, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood. Thousands of women in Pennsylvania rely on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, birth control, and other critical health care services.
The difference in this race could not be more clear. Scott Wagner does not stand for the women of Pennsylvania and would take us backwards. Governor Wolf has been a stalwart champion for women’s rights and would continue standing as our last line of defense against harmful policies coming from Harrisburg and Washington. That is why I am supporting Governor Wolf for re-election.