The Lead

Planned Parenthood focusing on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court race in new ad

By: - August 17, 2023 3:01 pm

Pennsylvania Supreme Court chambers in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

The political arm of reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood is weighing in on the race to fill a vacant seat on the state Supreme Court this fall, launching a six-figure, statewide digital ad campaign against the Republican nominee.

The ad campaign, launched on Thursday by Planned Parenthood Votes, the political committee established by Planned Parenthood in 2010, attacks Republican candidate Carolyn Carluccio, who is running against Democrat Daniel McCaffery for the seat left vacant after the death of Justice Max Baer last September. 

One ad accuses Carluccio — who has been a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas since 2010 and previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney — of “erasing her anti-abortion views from her resume.”

Planned Parenthood Votes launched a statewide, digital ad campaign on Thursday, Aug. 17 attacking GOP candidate for state Supreme Court Carolyn Carluccio of “hiding” her anti-abortion views (Capital-Star screen capture).

Both ads encourage Pennsylvania voters to support McCaffery, who currently serves on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court, and was also a former assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.

She cannot be trusted to respect Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights,” Breana Ross, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Votes said of Carluccio. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we elect justices who are committed to fairness and equality to protect our democracy and hold out-of-touch politicians accountable.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the commonwealth’s highest appellate court, has previously decided important cases regarding school masking mandates at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and legislative redistricting efforts in 2018

The court currently has a 4-2 Democratic majority, which reproductive advocates say could be crucial for protecting reproductive rights in Pennsylvania. 

Planned Parenthood Votes said it will continue to focus its ad campaigns on the state Supreme Court race leading up to the Nov. 7 general election

“We know where Carluccio stands and it’s not with the majority of Pennsylvanians who proved last election cycle that they want candidates who will protect access to safe, legal abortion,” Ross said. 

She believes that McCaffery will provide a “critical backstop” against legislative attempts to ban or restrict access to abortion in Pennsylvania. 

“This election could determine the future of abortion access in the state and Daniel McCaffery is the leader Pennsylvania needs,” Ross said.

Carluccio did not immediately respond to the Capital-Star’s request for comment. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.