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McCormick Unveils ‘Pro-Family’ Agenda in Delco Visit

Dave McCormick at southern border in Yuma, AZ

by John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
June 26, 2024

SPRINGFIELD— Standing in front of a sign that read, “Strengthening Pennsylvania Families,” Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick announced his campaign’s “pro-family agenda” in a visit to Delaware County on Wednesday. He laid out a plan that supports in-vitro fertilization (IVF), school vouchers, and social media bans for minors.

“America can not be strong if our families are weak,” McCormick said. “And if our families are in decline, America will decline and we can’t let that happen.”

McCormick said legislation is needed to make contraceptives more accessible and more affordable, adding that he supports providing families with a $15,000 tax credit for fertility services like IVF.

The issue of IVF entered the national political discussion in February when an Alabama Court banned the procedure. The Alabama legislature passed legislation to resume it in March.

Sen. Bob Casey blasted the ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court as a dangerous decision at the time, saying it would not have been possible without the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Casey is currently on a statewide tour emphasizing “the fight for rights” in the upcoming election and has often criticized McCormick’s stated support of the Dobbs ruling on the trail, in attack ads, and fundraising emails.

Casey’s campaign has often pointed to comments McCormick made during a 2022 GOP U.S. Senate debate where McCormick said in response to the moderator’s question that he believes in the “very rare instances there should be exceptions for the life of the mother,” but did not mention exceptions for rape or incest. During his current campaign for U.S. Senate, McCormick has said he’s pro-life, but “supports exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother.”

McCormick did not mention abortion, Roe v. Wade, or the Dobbs decision during his speech on Wednesday. But later in the day, he posted a video to social media saying Casey’s ad misstated his position on abortion.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party blasted McCormick for his abortion stance.

“David McCormick’s record makes it clear he won’t stand up for Pennsylvania women’s right to make decisions about their own families,” said TaNisha Cameron, Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson. “He called overturning Roe v. Wade ‘a huge victory,’ supports an abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, and refuses to commit to supporting the Senate’s bill to protect access to IVF.”

As part of his plan outlined Wednesday, McCormick said the government should promote adoption services by making the adoption tax credit created by the 2017 Trump tax cuts fully refundable. He also wants to see Medicaid cover postpartum care for a full year after birth in every state, but did not specify whether that meant care for the mother or the child, or both.

On the topic of childcare costs, McCormick said he supports federal assistance programs incentivizing states to make it easier for low and middle income families to access childcare offered by “faith-based” and community organizations. He also seeks to create a tax-free savings account families can use to pay for up to $10,000 per year in childcare costs, to make the Paid Family and Medical Leave Employer Tax Credit permanent, and to double the Child Tax Credit.

McCormick also expressed his support for school vouchers. The son of Pennsylvania public school teachers, McCormick said he supports a federal tax credit for contributions to scholarship funds.

“Parents should have the right to choose the school that’s best for their child rather than being forced to attend failing schools based solely on where they live,” McCormick said. “We should be funding students’ success, not systems that fail to deliver results.”

McCormick called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to expand school vouchers in the state, and said he supports the Education Choice for Children Act at the federal level, which provides scholarships to elementary and secondary school students. He accused Casey of not supporting this legislation because he’s “beholden” to the teachers unions.

The Casey campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about this charge by McCormick.

McCormick did not take questions from the press, but during the Q&A portion of the program with conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham, McCormick doubled down on his belief that the education system needs to be changed.

“We need to shake things up,” he said. “You’re not going to shake things up incrementally, you got to shake things up in a big way.”

McCormick said that his plan would create competition among schools and that the great schools will rise to the top, while schools that are not good enough will either “fix themselves or go away, which is what they should do.”

“It’s going to be disruptive as hell,” McCormick said. “And it needs to be.”

Another policy he offered support for on Wednesday was banning children under the age of 16 from using social media, pointing to statistics that found it has led to depression and anxiety among minors. He claimed Congress is failing in this field and called on a bipartisan solution to protect minors.

“Getting the government involved in regulating access to information is a slippery slope, but I think we’re hitting the tipping point,” McCormick said.

He said a social media ban for children is a “reasonable step” and equated it to laws barring minors from cigarettes, alcohol, and certain types of guns.

Recent polling has shown that Casey, who is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, leads McCormick by multiple points, while the Cook Political Report rates the race as Leans Democratic.

 

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and X.

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