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Sen. Bob Casey, anti-abortion Democrat, backs bill to codify abortion rights

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., came out Tuesday for a sweeping bill to codify abortion rights protections nationwide, marking a shift from his prior resistance to it.

“This week, I will again vote yes to advance debate on the Women’s Health Protection Act and I will support the bill if there is a vote on final passage in the future,” he said in a statement.

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Casey has long held anti-abortion views, with a complicated stance on the government’s role in the issue. He’s the son of Bob Casey Sr., a former governor of Pennsylvania who opposed legal abortion and defended his state’s restrictions in the landmark Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The younger Casey has been one of just two Senate Democrats, along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, not to sponsor the legislation.

As recently as February, Casey was not a supporter of the bill. But in a statement, he said that “the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed.”

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