Members of the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania gathered outside U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle’s office last week, hoping he’ll return to his earlier views on abortion as a key vote looms in Congress.
Leaders distributed a flier recalling that Boyle was president of Democrats for Life at Notre Dame and a 2008 candidate questionnaire showing Boyle taking the pro-life view on all 16 questions.
The Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania questionnaire showed Boyle answering that he opposes the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, opposes any exceptions protecting pre-born children from abortion and opposes state funding of abortion. He also declared he was in favor of marriage only between a man and a woman.
Boyle won that 2008 race in the 170th Legislative District and was re-elected twice.
In 2014, he ran for Congress in a district that included portions of the Northeast and Montgomery County. He took a pro-choice stance in that race.
Longtime pro-life leader Mike McMonagle believes Boyle made a “radical 180” because he was running in a “pro-abortion liberal county,” referring to the Democratic electorate of Montgomery County.
The rally outside Boyle’s office at 8572 Bustleton Ave. came as Congress is considering the annual federal budget, which since 1976 has included the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits Medicaid funding of abortions, unless the woman’s life is at risk or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
President Joe Biden supported the Hyde Amendment when he was a senator and vice president, but changed his view during the presidential campaign.
Pro-lifers believe that their best chance to preserve the Hyde Amendment is for all 50 Republican senators and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to support it, and have the Democratic-controlled House grudgingly agree to keep the amendment.
McMonagle is not too confident Boyle will vote for the amendment, but said his group would like to meet with him or at least have a phone call.
“We have an obligation to try,” he said.
Boyle’s office responded that the abortion rate has dropped significantly over the last few decades, mostly due to far fewer unplanned pregnancies. Boyle will continue to support investments in family planning programs proven to reduce unplanned pregnancies, and other investments that help families with children. He does not support making a criminal out of a woman or her doctor for the choice she makes.
Folks at the rally said a Hail Mary and the rosary and held signs such as, “Unborn Children are Americans, Too,” “Equal Rights for Preborn People” and “Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation.” Members of the Knights of Columbus and Americans United for Life joined the rally ••