Some anti-abortion groups have been taken over by conservatives who oppose Democrats regardless of their views on abortion, according to Day. “The Pennsylvania Right to Life chapter has always been very conservative. We’re seeing this more and more across the country where pro-life groups won’t support Democrats,” she said, citing the recent defeat of Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, an anti-abortion Democrat who represented Pennsylvania’s 3rd district for just one term.
“The pro-life community really went after her,” Day said, adding that Dahlkemper, who had a child before she was married, could have been a poster child for the anti-abortion movement. But Dahlkemper, like many other Blue Dog Democrats who lost in 2010, supported the health care bill.
“It was a good election issue to defeat pro-life Democrats who supported the [health care] bill,” Day said. “But the fact of the matter is that the bill doesn’t fund abortions.”
Looking to Casey’s 2012 race, a Republican challenger has yet to emerge. But some of the prospective candidates, Rep. Charlie Dent for example, have similar or more liberal views on abortion policies than Casey.
Back in Scranton, Gohsler wouldn’t rule out supporting Casey should a candidate who supports abortion rights emerge. But don’t count on it, she said, laughing: “I don’t see it at all.”