Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Pennsylvania 2018 Race

Primary Date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Election Date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Gubernatorial Candidates

  • Tom Wolf (D), Incumbent
  • Scott Wagner (R)

Gov. Tom Wolf (D)

A stalwart supporter of Pennsylvanians’ health care and rights 

We need to … support bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans, including preserving Planned Parenthood.

— Tom Wolf

Source: Bucks County Courier Times

As governor, Tom Wolf (D) has stood firm in defense of Pennsylvanians’ access to health care — vetoing extreme attempts to infringe on the right to safe and legal abortion, and blocking efforts to cut STI testing and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Why We Support Tom Wolf

  • Since his time as a volunteer patient escort, he’s been a years-long supporter of Planned Parenthood.

  • He vetoed a 20-week ban that could have become one of the most strict abortion laws in the country.

  • By expanding Medicaid, he extended health coverage to more than  700,000 Pennsylvanians.

Tom Wolf on the Issues:

Abortion

As governor, Wolf blocked efforts by extreme state lawmakers to enact what would have been one of the most restrictive state abortion laws in the country.

Signaling his intention to veto legislation that would have outlawed  a woman’s right to an abortion after 20 weeks — with no exceptions for rape, incest, health, or fetal anomalies — Wolf pledged to “keep standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the vast majority of Pennsylvanians who support a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her body.”

“It’s not my place to judge a woman’s personal decisions or to try and make them for her,” Wolf continued — “and it’s not the state legislature’s place to make those decisions for other people, either.

Birth Control

When the Trump administration attacked the Affordable Care Act’s federal birth control coverage guarantee in 2017, Wolf stood up for Pennsylvanianscalling for state lawmakers to require employee health plans to cover birth control at no cost.  

An advocate for access to contraception, Wolf has made repeated use of his authority as governor to make birth control more broadly available to Pennsylvanians. In 2016, Wolf expanded access to long-acting contraception, revising the state’s Medicaid plan to cover  payment for long-acting reversible contraception such as the IUD. That shift in policy also allowed women to receive IUDs as new mothers, while still in the hospital — eliminating a weeks-long delay in coverage of the procedure that led women who wanted an IUD to miss their appointments.    

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

When extreme lawmakers attempted to “defund” Planned Parenthood, Wolf spoke out.

Vowing to veto any move to block patients’ access to reproductive and sexual health care, Wolf denounced “defunding” efforts as “nothing more than an ideologically driven attempt to disrupt health services for thousands of women in Pennsylvania.”

Health Care Access

Among Wolf’s most important moves as governor of Pennsylvania was his decision to expand Medicaid — granting health care access to more than 700,000 people. His choice helped to reduce  the percentage of uninsured state residents from 10.2 percent in 2010 to 6.4 percent in 2016 — improving lives across the state, and creating jobs for physicians, dentists and other medical professionals.

When politicians in Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to lapse, Wolf stepped in and saw to it that Pennsylvanians would remain covered. Wolf also vetoed efforts to force Medicaid enrollees to meet arbitrary work requirements — a bureaucratic burden that, in other states, has caused large numbers of eligible people to lose coverage.

Health Equity for All

As governor, Wolf has worked to protect the health of all Pennsylvanians. In 2017 he introduced legislation to strengthen the response to sexual assault and violence on campus — saying, as he announced the proposals, “there is no better investment than the safety and security of our young people.”

Wolf has also spoken out in favor of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which would protect access to medical care and other important services to LGBTQ people in the commonwealth.

State Sen. Scott Wagner (R)

His extreme policies would pose a threat to the rights and health of Pennsylvanians.

We should roll back Medicaid expansion.

— Scott Wagner

Source: YouTube

Wagner has a long record of working to limit access to health care. In the state senate, he advocated for bills to curtail a woman’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortion — and even fought to cut funding for thousands of women who use Planned Parenthood health centers to access STI testing and cancer screenings.

Why We Oppose Scott Wagner

  • He supported a proposed six-week ban that would have all but abolished access to safe, legal abortion in the state.

  • He would roll back Medicaid expansion, jeopardizing the health coverage of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians

  • He co-sponsored a bill that would have cut off state funds for STD testing and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Scott Wagner on the Issues:

Abortion

As a legislator, Wagner has maintained a hard line of opposition to women’s constitutional right to a safe, legal abortion.

While serving his most recent term, Wagner supported both a 20-week ban on abortion  — with no exceptions for rape, incest, health, or tragic fetal anomalies — and an even more extreme six-week ban — which would have effectively abolished access to abortion in Pennsylvania.

Birth Control

When asked by a reporter if all women should have access to birth control, Wagner said in reply:

“You probably should … Maybe I should talk to my wife about that question.”

Seriously — that was his response.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

In 2017, Wagner co-sponsored a bill that, if enacted, would have cut off public funding for family planning and reproductive health services for patients who rely on Planned Parenthood for care.

Wagner’s bill attempted to halt state funding to all health centers that provide abortions — even for patients seeking other essential, sometimes life-saving services.

Health Care Access

Wagner has vocally opposed Medicaid expansion, which extended health coverage to more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians.

He even said, during a 2018 debate, that “we should roll back Medicaid expansion” — a threat that would devastate thousands of Pennsylvania families.

Text PPVOTES to 22422

To join the Planned Parenthood votes mobile list and get updates on how you can join the fight to protect our health, our rights, and our communities.

Msg freq varies. STOP to quit. Msg&DataRatesMayApply. Terms: ppaction.org/terms.

Register to Vote

It only takes two minutes! With your help, we can make sure champions of reproductive health and rights win up and down the ballot.  

Sign up for email alerts

Stay on top of breaking news in the world of reproductive health and rights, and learn right away about opportunities to fight back against attacks. We will also keep you updated on key policy decisions and elections on the state and federal level. Privacy Policy.

Thank you for joining the PP Action Network!

Online activists for Planned Parenthood Action Fund stay on top of the issues that matter and get involved with campaigns that advance and protect women's rights and health. We are so glad to have you with us and will be in touch soon via email. You can also get updates on your phone.

Text WIN to 22422 to get mobile alerts (Text/SMS) from our PP Action Mobile Network. You can text STOP to quit anytime. Data and standard message rates apply.