ICYMI: Doug Mastriano’s Extreme, Hardline Anti-Reproductive Freedom Position is Alienating Suburban Voters - Shapiro For Governor
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August 22, 2022Press Releases

ICYMI: Doug Mastriano’s Extreme, Hardline Anti-Reproductive Freedom Position is Alienating Suburban Voters


August 22, 2022


SPA Press, Press@joshshapiro.org

ICYMI: Doug Mastriano’s Extreme, Hardline Anti-Reproductive Freedom Position is Alienating Suburban Voters

PENNSYLVANIAToday, new reporting from WHYY is detailing how Doug Mastriano’s hardline views on abortion are far too extreme for many suburban Pennsylvania voters – including many Republicans and Trump voters. Mastriano has said his “number one” priority is criminalizing and banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother – and he wants to prosecute doctors who perform them.

While Josh Shapiro has always defended the right to choose and will protect freedom as Governor, Doug Mastriano wants to dictate what Pennsylvania women can do with their own bodies and stop medical professionals from providing critical health care. 

Recently, Pennsylvania nurses and doctors spoke out against Mastriano’s extreme views – reiterating how important it is for their patients to be able to make their own health care decisions, not have politicians like Mastriano jeopardize their health and take their freedom away. 

Read WHYY’s new reporting below and see the full story here.

WHYY: Suburban voters are key for Doug Mastriano. His abortion views seem to be turning them off

By Katie Meyer, 08/22/2022

Many suburban Republicans say they are having a hard time bringing themselves to vote for their party’s nominee for governor, Doug Mastriano. And several voters and political operatives doing on-the-ground outreach say his stance on abortion is a big reason why. […]

Mastriano, a state senator, opposes abortion under all circumstances. His Democratic opponent, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, says he wants to maintain Pennsylvania’s current law: Abortion is legal up to about 24 weeks of gestation, with later-term abortions permitted in case of a medical emergency. […]

She voted for former congressman Lou Barletta in the GOP primary — a very conservative candidate who she still felt seemed “grounded” — but she doesn’t think Mastriano can be trusted with the governorship.

“I think he’s too far conservative,” she said. “I think he will cause more of a divide in our state if he gets in as governor.”

Naulty has a few specific areas of concern. Mastriano has released a plan to dramatically cut education funding that, as a teacher, she thinks will be “really tough on school districts.” She doesn’t like that Mastriano refuses to talk to mainstream news media.

But it’s his stance on abortion that she finds especially unacceptable, even as a person who generally supports abortion laws being up to states.

“I do think he will take it to the extreme and completely shut abortion down altogether, and that’s not an answer these days,” she said. “People rape children. You’re going to have her, you know, have a baby out of that situation?”

“No,” she said. “It’s not OK.” […]

But with Roe moot and Wolf term-limited, things could change rapidly. House GOP Leader Bryan Cutler, who is largely in charge of the direction of the chamber, has said he would support a total ban on abortion if Pennsylvania had “a different governor.”

Cara Alderfen, a registered Republican who lives in the Perkasie area, in Bucks County, said she doesn’t really care how Mastriano frames his abortion views. Any level of support for rolling back abortion rights, she said, is “the nail in the coffin for me.” […]

She’s not against voting for a Republican again, but it won’t be Mastriano. When Roe v. Wade fell, she recalls being hit by how impactful the gubernatorial race would be.

“I was like, oh, my gosh, this guy is really bad,” she said. “I mean, he was bad before, but now it’s, like, really bad. He cannot be elected.”

That sentiment is all over the populous, politically vital Philadelphia collar counties, according to one Republican organizer who primarily opposes school closures and mask mandates, and who asked not to be named because of the political nature of her work. […]

People care about lots of issues this election cycle, the GOP organizer said — crime and education are big ones — but abortion bans can be a dealbreaker.

“I deal with all moms. I deal with all women,” she said. “They just want their kids to be educated, productive members of society. Do we have to vote for someone who thinks that if a woman gets raped, they have to keep the kid? That’s moms everywhere.”

Andrea Fellerman Kesack, 58, a physician working in the pharmaceutical industry who lives in Maple Glen, in Montgomery County, has had a tortured relationship with her political party for even longer. […]

But candidates like Mastriano dishearten her — especially when it comes to issues like abortion. When Roe v. Wade still limited states’ ability to restrict abortion, she didn’t consider it a top issue. Now she does, and it feels to her like a regression.

“Now that the Supreme Court did what it did, it’s up there,” she said. “It wasn’t my first issue, [but] I have to think about it for my daughters and all those young women.” […]

“Even if they consider themselves pro-life — which, many people in our organization consider themselves pro-life — Doug Mastriano’s stance on abortion is incredibly extreme,” he said, adding that in focus groups, these kinds of voters seem happy to vote for a conventional Democrat like Josh Shapiro when Mastriano is the alternative.

Kesack is happily supporting Shapiro, and Alderfen is, too. The political organizer says while she hasn’t made a final decision, Shapiro might be “the lesser of the two evils.” […]