McCormick’s ‘pro-family’ plan includes support for in vitro fertilization, school vouchers and social media ban for teenagers

SPRINGFIELD — Standing in front of a sign that read “Strengthening Families in Pennsylvania,” Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick announced his campaign’s “pro-family agenda” during a visit to Delaware County on Wednesday. He unveiled a plan that supports in vitro fertilization (IVF), school vouchers and social media bans for minors.

“America can’t be strong if our families are weak,” McCormick said. “And if our families are in crisis, America will fail and we cannot let that happen.”

McCormick said legislation is needed to make contraceptives more accessible and affordable, adding that he supports providing families with a $15,000 tax credit for fertility services such as in vitro fertilization.

The issue of in vitro fertilization entered the national political discussion in February when an Alabama court banned the procedure. The Alabama Legislature passed a law restoring this function in March.

Casey criticized the ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court as a perilous decision at the time, arguing that it would not have been possible without the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Casey is currently on statewide tour emphasizing the “fight for rights” in the upcoming elections and often criticizing McCormick’s declared support for the Dobbs ruling on the trail, v attack adsand fundraising emails.

Casey’s campaign has frequently cited comments McCormick made during the 2022 U.S. Senate runoff elections. debate where McCormick stated in response to a moderator’s question that he believed “in very rare cases there should be exceptions for the life of the mother,” but did not mention exceptions for rape or incest. During his current campaign for the US SenateMcCormick has stated that he is pro-life but “supports exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.”

During Wednesday’s speech, McCormick did not mention abortion, Roe v. Wade or the Dobbs decision. But later that day he posted the video on social media claiming Casey’s ad misrepresented his stance on abortion.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party sharply criticized McCormick for his stance on abortion.

“David McCormick’s record makes clear that he will not defend the right of Pennsylvania women to make decisions about their own families,” said TaNisha Cameron, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “He called the overturning of Roe v. Wade a “tremendous victory,” supports a ban on abortion without exceptions in cases of rape or incest, and refuses to commit to supporting a Senate bill to protect access to in vitro fertilization.”

McCormick said under his plan outlined Wednesday, the government should promote adoption services by providing a full refund of the adoption tax credit created by the 2017 Trump tax cuts. He also wants Medicaid to cover postpartum care for a full year after giving birth in every state, but he did not specify whether that means care for the mother, the baby or both.

On child care costs, McCormick said he supports federal assistance programs that encourage states to make it easier for low- and moderate-income families to access child care offered by “faith-based” and community-based organizations. It also seeks to create a tax-free savings account from which families can contribute up to $10,000 a year to cover child care costs, to provide a enduring tax credit for employers for Paid Family Leave and Medical Leave, and to double the child tax credit.

McCormick also expressed his support for school vouchers. McCormick, the son of Pennsylvania public school teachers, said he supports a federal tax credit for contributions to scholarship funds.

“Parents should have the right to choose the school that is best for their child, rather than being forced to attend unsuccessful schools solely because of where they live,” McCormick said. “We should fund student success, not systems that don’t deliver results.”

McCormick called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to expand education vouchers in the state and said he supports it Children’s Education Choice Act at the federal level, which provides scholarships to primary and secondary school students. He accused Casey of not supporting the legislation because he has an “obligation” to teachers unions.

The Casey campaign did not immediately respond to McCormick’s request for comment on this accusation.

McCormick did not take questions from the press, but during the Q&A portion of the show from conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham, McCormick reiterated that he believes the education system needs to change.

“We need to sort out the situation,” he said. “You’re not going to make changes incrementally, you have to make changes in a big way.”

McCormick said his plan would lead to competition between schools and that the best schools would come out on top, while schools that weren’t good enough would either “correct themselves or disappear, which is what should happen.”

“It’s going to be pretty damn devastating,” McCormick said. “And so it must be.”

Another policy he offered Wednesday was a ban on social media exploit by children under 16, pointing to statistics that have shown it leads to depression and anxiety among minors. He said Congress is failing in this area and called for a bipartisan solution to protect minors.

“Getting the government involved in regulating access to information is a risky business, but I think we’re reaching a tipping point,” McCormick said.

He said a social media ban for children was a “sensible step” and likened it to laws banning minors from using cigarettes, alcohol and certain types of weapons.

Latest polls showed that Casey, who is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, leads McCormick by many points, while Cook Political Report rates this race as Leans Democratic.

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