What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Governor Race

Posted on May 15, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CONTACT: Sari Stevens, 717-234-3024 x2, sari.stevens@pppamail.org

The stakes in the Pennsylvania 2018 gubernatorial election could not be higher. The next governor has the power to decide whether hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians can access affordable health care. Gov. Tom Wolf has expanded access to health care for over 700,000 Pennsylvanians by expanding Medicaid and prevented Republican lawmakers from restricting health care access by blocking onerous work requirements in Medicaid reforms. Gov. Wolf also stood with a majority of Pennsylvanians by rejecting a plan from extreme state politicians to cut off funding for cancer screenings and preventive health care at Planned Parenthood. His potential opponents have staked out positions that would threaten access to reproductive health care for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians. See where the candidates stand below:

Gov. Tom Wolf is a champion for reproductive health care:

  • Wolf stood with a majority of Pennsylvanians and rejected a plan from the extreme state politicians that would have cut off funding for cancer screenings and preventive health care at Planned Parenthood for thousands of women across the state.
  • Wolf and his wife have been longtime supporters and clinic escorts for Planned Parenthood, beginning at the health center in their hometown in York, Pennsylvania. Last fall, Wolf toured the Pennsylvania’s largest health center in Philadelphia to reiterate his support.
  • Wolf vetoed a dangerous 20-week ban, which included no exceptions for women who were victims of rape or incest, stating: “Pennsylvania will not play games with women’s healthcare in our Commonwealth.”
  • Wolf has called for stronger measures to combat sexual harassment at the state capital and sought to prohibit state lawmakers from using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment cases in secret.

Scott Wagner:

  • Scott Wagner refused to stand up for access to affordable contraception for Pennsylvania women. When asked whether women should have access to birth control, he was baffled by the question and quipped that he “should talk to my wife” about it.
  • Scott Wagner would ban abortion in the state. Wager told PennLive in Harrisburg that he supports a six-week abortion ban being pushed in Pennsylvania. This would ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant.
  • Scott Wagner was behind an “extreme” bill to curtail a woman’s constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion. This bill would have outlawed abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exemptions for victims of rape or incest. After the bill was vetoed by Gov. Wolf, Wagner promised, “if given the opportunity as governor, I pledge to sign this legislation into law.”

Paul Mango

  • Mango promised to “defund Planned Parenthood” within “the first couple of months” if he becomes governor. Over 90,000 Pennsylvanians rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing –– and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood.
  • Mango said he would “veto any bill or budget funding … Planned Parenthood.”
  • Mango does not trust women to make their own personal health care decisions, calling for a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks with no exemptions for victims of rape or incest.

Laura Ellsworth:

  • Ellsworth said she supports S.B. 3, a strict 20-week abortion ban which includes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and would sign it as governor.


In partnership with the three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, the nonpartisan public affairs advocacy and electoral office, works to achieve maximum public, governmental and media support for reproductive health care – including family planning – by developing, implementing and facilitating a statewide strategy.


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