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Shapiro Talks Abortion Access in Pennsylvania With Planned Parenthood

In his first week as Pennsylvania’s governor, Josh Shapiro has put abortion on the front burner. He highlighted abortion in his inauguration speech, and on the third day of his administration, he hosted Planned Parenthood leadership for a conversation on expanding abortion access.

“Planned Parenthood PA’s executive director and the CEOs of all three Planned Parenthood affiliates met with newly sworn in Governor Josh Shapiro [Thursday] to talk about the state of access to abortion care in Pennsylvania and the future to expanding sexual and reproductive health care to everyone who needs it,” a Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates press release said.

Shapiro is no stranger to the organization that has been a longtime donor to his campaigns for office.

Lindsey Mauldin, Shapiro’s newly appointed deputy chief of staff for health and human services, worked for Planned Parenthood before being picked to be a staffer on the leadership team in the governor’s executive office.

In their meeting, Planned Parenthood representatives, in their words, asked for “improved access to care” for patients regardless of their financial situation; removing “limitations and hurdles” for providers to offer abortion; holding crisis pregnancy centers “accountable for misinformation” when they are state funded; and waiving “onerous and unnecessary testing requirements” for clinic patients.

“It’s very interesting that the newly elected governor would have this meeting with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation,” Maria Gallagher of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation told The Epoch Times. “They are basically asking for changes to the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. And while he had a pro-abortion record as a state legislator and as attorney general, Governor Shapiro had said in the campaign that he supports current Pennsylvania law.”

Political Promises

Pennsylvania has 18 abortion facilities, accounting for more than 32,000 abortions annually, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“We endorsed Josh Shapiro early in the race last year because he has a record of fighting for sexual and reproductive health care, and having met with him as Governor, we know he’s going to maintain that commitment to our cause,” Signe Espinoza, executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, said in a statement. “We believe with a champion for reproductive health care in the governor’s mansion, we can build a future where every Pennsylvanian can access the care they need.”

Shapiro has talked about having a diverse staff that looks like the people of Pennsylvania, and he said in his inauguration speech that he would not roll back access to abortion. He also promised to do his best to be a governor for all Pennsylvanians.

“We would hope that the governor would be a governor for all the people in Pennsylvania,” Gallagher said. “And all the people in Pennsylvania are not for abortion on demand for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. That’s what Planned Parenthood is pushing, and that’s not what the majority of Pennsylvania wants.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the governor’s office for comment.

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