Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey says he supports bill to protect abortion rights

The Pennsylvania senator has long rejected calls to codify abortion rights into law.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a life-long anti-abortion Democrat, said Tuesday he now supports federal action to legalize it.

Casey has long rejected calls to codify abortion rights into law.

In a statement, Casey said he will "again vote yes to advance debate on the Women's Health Protection Act and I will support the bill if there is a vote on final passage in the future."

"In the nearly three months since the Senate last voted on the Women's Health Protection Act, the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed. In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent reports that Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate will introduce legislation to enact a nationwide six-week ban, the real question of the moment is: do you support a categorical ban on abortion? During my time in public office, I have never voted for-nor do I support-such a ban."

SEE ALSO: Local reaction to leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion, Roe v. Wade

Still, Democrats do not have the 60 votes needed to ensure access to legal abortion.

Last week a draft opinion was leaked, indicating the Supreme Court could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave it up to the states to decide their own abortion policies.

The Supreme Court confirmed the leaked draft, first published by Politico, was an authentic document but said: "it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."

SEE ALSO: What other laws may be impacted if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade?

Though the draft opinion could change, Democrats and Republicans across the states pledged action amid warnings such a ruling could also put other rights at risk.

Casey is the son of the late Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey Sr., who defended the state's laws against abortion in the landmark Planned Parenthood v. Casey case.

SEE ALSO: Where do lawmakers stand on abortion rights in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware?

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