HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Should women who have abortions be charged with murder? Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano suggested just that in a radio interview from 2019 that has now found new life.
Scott Lamar worked at WITF Radio for three decades, interviewing newsmakers every day.
“Put it this way, it was a very memorable interview,” said Lamar about a November 2019 discussion with Senator Doug Mastriano about abortion.
“It is murder in your eyes?” said Lamar, addressing Mastriano. “It absolutely is. Science says it’s a life,” Mastriano responded.
But Lamar didn’t stop there, pressing Mastriano for clarification. “Would that woman who decided to have an abortion, which would be considered an illegal abortion, be charged with murder?”
“Ok, let’s go back to basic question. Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, they deserve equal protection under the law,” replied Mastriano. “So you’re saying yes,” said Lamar. “Yes I am,” Mastriano concluded.
Mastriano’s response surprised Lamar, a longtime journalist. “When a state senator says a woman should be charged with murder if she has an illegal abortion, that is totally out of the ordinary. That’s more than anything I’ve ever heard and some would say that’s an extreme position,” said Lamar.
“Abortion is essential healthcare that one in four individuals will access in their lifetime, so thinking one could be criminalized for accessing the care that they need is a really terrifying thought,” said Lindsey Mauldin of Planned Parenthood.
Mastriano refused to comment to reporters on the 2019 interview, but he did go on a cable talk show where he said, “the radical on abortion is Josh Shapiro who thinks it’s ok to kill a baby up until birth.”
Shapiro, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania, denies saying that he supports the current Pennsylvania law that allows abortions up to 24 weeks.
Alexius Sneller, with the PA Family Institute, commented on abortion access in Pennsylvania. “The pro-life movement here [Pennsylvania] has never sought prosecution of women, many of whom are victims of deceit or being coerced into choosing abortion. It’s the abortion industry – the pushers of abortion to the tune of two-million here in PA alone since 1973 – that must be the focus of laws to protect women and the lives of unborn children in their mother’s wombs.”
“My views are kind of irrelevant because I cannot rule by fiat, or by edict, or by executive order on the issue of life. It’s up to the people of Pennsylvania,” Mastriano added.
However, the interview that has been on WITF’s website since 2019 is gaining a lot of traction again.
“I was surprised it has blown up the way it has,” said Lamar.
A Senate Republican spokeswoman said, “No comment,” on when asked about Mastriano’s comments.