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Left to right: Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano. Photos: AL DÍA Archives and Getty Images.
Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano's Governor's race will determine the rights of women in PA. Photos: AL DÍA Archives, Getty Images.

Hey PA, your Governor’s election just got even more important

Abortion has taken center stage, as Pennsylvanians will now vote on whether or not it will join 26 states likely to enact bans on the procedure.

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The 2022 midterm elections were already important in Pennsylvania. It will be electing a new governor and U.S. senator with a potential impact that could reverberate all the way to Washington D.C.

But with the Friday, June 22 overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, now Pennsylvanians will be going to the polls to determine whether women or the state legislature and governor will have the ultimate say when it comes to abortion rights.

Currently, if it were up to the state legislature, PA would join the 22 states that currently have either a trigger ban or ban already on the books to enact and severely restrict or ban abortion in the state. 

Standing in its way has been Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, who has vetoed every effort up to this point to come from the state legislature. The most prominent of those bills is in the same vein of Texas’ ban on abortions after six weeks, also known as a ‘Heartbeat’ bill.

However, that dynamic could very much change after the 2022 Governor’s race, which sees current PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro heading the Democratic ticket against Doug Mastriano, a PA State Senator who was present at the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, leading the Republican charge.

It’s a race of polar opposites when it comes to abortion.

Following the announcement of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Shapiro released a statement that called the decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “shameful.”

“Today, five Supreme Court Justices upended 50 years of settled law and subjected the health and private lives of millions of American women to the whims of politicians,” he said.

“Here in Pennsylvania, decisions about your bodies will now be left to elected officials in Harrisburg — giving those politicians more power than women in our Commonwealth,” Shapiro continued.

While abortion rights in PA remain intact for now, the Democratic candidate for governor also pointed to states where the change happened immediately, and extended support as both PA Attorney General and a potential governor, to protect their rights if coming to the Commonwealth for a procedure.

He also said he would fight any legislative effort to restrict abortion rights within the state if elected governor, essentially maintaining Wolf’s current stance.

Mastriano was one of those state legislators that introduced a potential abortion ban when he was in the state legislature. 

In the immediate aftermath of the decision, Mastriano’s campaign Facebook page shared the message “Life wins!” followed by a flurry of screenshots of tweets in support of overturning Roe v. Wade and announcing a few states that were enacting their trigger bans.

Later in the day, Mastriano released an almost four-minute video talking about the importance of “protecting life” in PA by enacting its own abortion ban.

Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history,” reads the post accompanying the video.

In it, Mastriano highlights his efforts to introduce and pass a ‘Heartbeat’ bill in PA and used another part to highlight his hardline stance against the procedure even in the case of rape.

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