Pennsylvania's Republican nominee for governor, Doug Mastriano, once said women should be charged with murder for violating an abortion ban

Doug Mastriano speaks at an event on July 1, 2022, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.
Doug Mastriano speaks at an event on July 1, 2022, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.Marc Levy, File/Associated Press
  • Doug Mastriano, a state senator, is the GOP nominee running for governor of Pennsylvania.

  • In 2019, he said women who have illegal abortions should be charged with murder.

  • Mastriano at the time was a lead sponsor of legislation to ban abortions when a heartbeat is detected.

Doug Mastriano, the far-right GOP nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, once said that women who decide to have an abortion in violation of a proposed ban should be charged with murder, NBC News first reported Tuesday.

In a newly surfaced interview from 2019, Mastriano was asked if a woman who learned she was pregnant at 10 weeks and decided to have an abortion would be charged with murder under the proposal.

Mastriano at the time was a lead sponsor of The Heartbeat Bill, which would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, generally around six to eight weeks of pregnancy. The bill did not survive a veto.

"Would that woman who decided to have an abortion, which would be considered an illegal abortion, be charged with murder?" the interviewer with Pennsylvania radio station WITF asked.

Mastriano said that the basic question is whether it's a human being or "a little boy or a girl," and if so, "it deserves equal protection under the law."

"So you're saying 'yes?'" the interviewer asked.

"Yes, I am," said Mastriano, a state senator.

Mastriano recently told activists on a call hosted by the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania that, if elected, he would sign the heartbeat bill or a "fetal pain bill," another attempt to restrict abortions, according to WESA.

Pennsylvania law currently bans the procedure after 24 weeks with exceptions for the life and health of the mother.

Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment made to his state senate campaign office.

A spokesperson for his Democratic opponent, Josh Shapiro, said in a statement, "Doug Mastriano has said his number one priority is banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother – and now, it's clear he also wants to prosecute women for murder for making personal healthcare decisions. Mastriano has the most extreme anti-choice position in the country – and there is no limit to how far he would go to take away Pennsylvania women's freedom."

During the 2019 WITF radio interview, Mastriano said abortion "absolutely is" murder. Asked what the penalty would be for a doctor who performed an abortion after a heartbeat, Mastriano said, "So it goes back down to the courts if it's ruled that ... that little person is a baby, a human being, then that's murder and it has to go through the legal procedures."

Read the original article on Business Insider