State Representative Stephen Casey, long heralded as a pro-life Democrat and who voted against RI’s landmark pro-abortion legislation in 2019, unable to withstand the pressure from the Left and the debate stage, suddenly reversed course at a recent debate and declared he supported a woman’s “right to choose”, even to the point of stating that his 2019 vote against RI’s “Reproductive Protection Act” was a “mistake“.
Wrote Barth Bracy, Executive Director of RI Right To Life, it was “we” who “made a mistake” in originally endorsing Casey, as the prominent state organization pulled its support of the flip-flopping candidate, who had previously assured RIRTL he would not abandon his pro-life stance.
And, just earlier this month, in a one-on-one interview with Mike Stenhouse on The Current’s Election Waves podcast, Casey reiterated his anti-abortion stance by clearly stating, “I am pro-life.”
Casey’s reversal came at the August 17 debate sponsored by the RI Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs. Allen Waters, self-described as a “classical liberal”, was not invited to the debate. When asked by another candidate if he believed in a woman’s right to choose, Casey responded, “Yes, I do.”
UPDATED Aug 23: Casey provided the following conflicting statement to The Current (non-relevant portions edited out), which seem to create more questions than it sought to resolve: “I want to address statements that have been made regarding my recent comments and voting record. I am pro-life, that is who I am – with no apology. As a State Representative, I have taken six oaths of office. In those oaths, I pledged to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. As much as I disagree with the act and notion of abortion, it is my duty to defend a woman’s right to have one. I would hope that all Americans respect that stance and when we discuss Constitutional rights again, I expect the same reciprocation. We cannot undermine the principles on which our country was founded or rewrite the Constitution to make it fit our narrative.”
The betrayal by Casey, a candidate who is vying for conservative “cross-over” votes in RI’s September 5 Democrat primary to replace David Cicilline in the US House of Representatives, leaves Allen Waters as the only pro-life Democrat in the primary.
Waters issued the following statement after being contacted by The Current; “I am very surprised that Casey would be coerced in a public forum by his fellow Progressive candidates in the last weeks of the … race into flip-flopping on his past pro-life voting record in the Rhode Island General Assembly. A man’s moral values should not be so malleable, and is certainly not a good look for the voters of Woonsocket and across the District who plan to vote for character on the sanctity of life before birth. I stand by my pro-life position and the SCOTUS decision on Roe vs.Wade, and pledge not to vote for abortion in federal law. Let the states decide.”
In repudiating his long-time stance on this vital issue, Casey has lost the support of virtually every conservative The Current has contacted in recent days. Both Casey and Bracy drew fire from RI Beachhead Coalition for Freedom members. Casey for his egregious change of position; and Bracy for being fooled into endorsing Casey in the first place. In Bracey’s email, he openly apologized for his organization’s mistake and he asked his supporters to “please spread the word widely throughout the pro-life community.”
There are many single-issue voters on both sides of this debate, and the question for Casey is whether or not he has garnered more pro-choice votes than the pro-life votes he has lost.
Cross-Over Voting Could Be the Difference. The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, parent organization of The Ocean State Current, is openly encouraging eligible voters in RI’s 1st Congressional District to vote in the Democratic primary, with the goal of electing a common-sense Democrat who has not been co-opted by the radical Left, woke agenda.