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PENNSYLVANIA — For the second year in a row, abortion access defined Pennsylvania’s elections — this time in a hotly-contested race for the state Supreme Court. Pennsylvanians put their trust in Daniel McCaffery, whose pledge to protect reproductive freedom starkly contrasted with the anti-abortion threat posed by opponent Carolyn Carluccio.

With the stakes for abortion access higher than ever, Planned Parenthood Votes (PPV) ran a seven-figure campaign — its largest ever investment in a judicial race and its first-ever investment in such a race in Pennsylvania. That investment included the first ads against Carluccio and a significant television and digital ad buy urging voters to hold Carluccio to account for her lies. Meanwhile, PPV and partners in the state lifted up the voices of storytellers, health care providers, and advocates in demonstrating the necessity of abortion access for Pennsylvania through numerous press events. 

At every turn, Carluccio attempted to deceive voters about her true beliefs — but voters saw her record clearly. She erased her anti-abortion stance from her website and repeatedly evaded questions about how she’d rule on abortion-related cases. She and her family donated thousands of dollars to fake clinics that mislead patients. Her campaign was supported by corporate interests that spent millions lying to voters. And she was endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation and the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania — two organizations whose mission is to ban abortion entirely. 

The threat that Carluccio posed to Pennsylvanians’ freedom became even clearer just days before the election, when Carluccio again refused to say whether she’d block an abortion ban and claimed the bar was too high for one to even reach the court — a laughable suggestion given abortion opponents’ long-term strategy of passing bans in the hope of a court declaring them constitutional. 

Statement from Signe Espinoza, executive director, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates:

“Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates congratulates Justice-elect Daniel McCaffery on this hard-fought victory. In this election, voters saw through Carolyn Carluccio and her lies. Instead of someone who refused to answer questions about her abortion stance, they chose a Supreme Court justice they could trust. Pennsylvanians have a champion in Daniel McCaffery. He will rule fairly on critical issues, like reproductive rights, that come before the court, and work to protect every Pennsylvanian’s equality, dignity, and freedom.”

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president & CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Across Pennsylvania, voters proved that there is no such thing as an ‘off-year’ election for abortion rights — a driving force in this race. They came out not only to elect a candidate who will support their freedom, but to educate their communities about the stakes. From protecting abortion access to ensuring that every vote counts, state judiciaries play a critical role in shaping our futures and our democracy for generations to come. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud of the work Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations have done and will continue to do, to elect justices like Daniel McCaffery, who will follow the rule of law and safeguard our reproductive freedom.” 

Polling throughout the election showed that abortion was front-of-mind for Pennsylvania voters — the overwhelming majority of whom support legal abortion. The results of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election further affirm that when abortion is on the ballot, champions for reproductive freedom win. 

Justice-elect McCaffery joins a court whose balance remains in favor of reproductive freedom. His election sets the stage for voters to again elect justices who will protect Pennsylvanians’ rights in 2026. 

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

 

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