Assuming the Supreme Court guts Roe v. Wade this summer as expected, the only thing standing between Pennsylvania's GOP-led legislature and an all-out ban on abortions will be the state's governor.
Unless Keystone State voters elevate Christian nationalist and MAGA extremist Doug Mastriano, a Republican state senator, to the governor's mansion. Mastriano, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, has pledged to ban all abortions in the state with no exceptions.
“I Want Abortion To End, Period," Mastriano said in a Facebook Live chat on May 3, the day after the high court’s draft ruling on Roe was leaked.
In a radio interview the next day, Mastriano added, “My goal ultimately is to get it down to conception in the end.”
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With that clearly in mind, several Democrat-aligned groups are launching a $6 million campaign that will use a combination of digital, television, and grassroots mobilization to highlight Mastriano's fervent promises to criminalize abortion, according to Politico.
The first TV ad of the campaign started airing Monday—the beginning of an effort to expose Mastriano's radical views and antiquated misogyny.
"For 50 years, women have had the right to make their own healthcare decisions, the freedom to control their own bodies," begins a female narrator. "But now the Supreme Court wants to set women's rights back a half century."
Then comes a Mastriano soundbite: "My body, my choice is ridiculous nonsense," he says.
The narrator warns Mastriano would make all abortions illegal, criminalize doctors, and force pregnancies even in instances of rape and incest.
Mastriano chimes in again, saying, “I don’t give a way for exceptions.”
The narrator concludes: "Doug Mastriano: Taking Pennsylvania backwards.”
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Attorney General Josh Shapiro has already been out front on the abortion issue, promising to veto any abortion ban or other restrictions that reach his desk as governor.
On Monday, Shapiro tweeted out a picture of himself with two women, presumably at an abortion rights rally—both were wearing “Bans off my body” T-shirts. "I've got your back, Pennsylvania — and when they come for your rights, I'll be there to defend them," Shapiro wrote.
In another tweet Monday, Shapiro wrote: "Doug Mastriano is focused on wrongfully throwing doctors behind bars for performing an abortion. As Attorney General, I’m focused on putting drug dealers, criminals, and those looking to screw over Pennsylvanians behind bars to make our communities safer. That’s the difference."
Shapiro's high-contrast, no-compromise posture on reproductive rights is pitch perfect. Not only do roughly two-thirds or more of the electorate support keeping abortion legal in all or most cases, but just 5% of Americans in a recent NBC News poll said abortions should be illegal without exceptions—Mastriano's position.
Here’s the ad from Put Pennsylvania First, an affiliate of the Democratic Governors Association.