Lobbying firm of Former Governor Tom Ridge hired by Pennsylvania’s largest abortion business

Connections are important in the world of politics, and we can learn a lot from observing these links between people and organizations.

According to state records, the lobbying firm created and led by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and that bears his name, the Ridge Policy Group (RPG), has been retained by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.

This is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood in our state, and RPG will be representing their interests in our State Capitol and perhaps beyond. Mark Campbell, a partner with RPG and former Chief of Staff for Tom Ridge while he was governor, is the main lobbyist assigned to this account.

This is noteworthy, because when Ridge, a Republican, ran for governor, he was known to be “pro-choice.” During his tenure as governor, from 1995-2001 (when he resigned to head the new Department of Homeland Security), not a single abortion clinic in Pennsylvania was inspected by the state. How do we know?

Consider this from page 9 of the Grand Jury Report, January 2011, investigating Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ abortion clinic in Philadelphia:

After 1993…the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. [emphasis added]. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.

Because of this catastrophic decision by the Ridge administration, which was repeated by the Rendell administration, a clinic like Gosnell’s was allowed to flourish with no threat of being shut down. Women died. Babies died, even babies born alive during the abortion. And state officials did nothing about it.

Thankfully, in December of 2011, the state legislature passed, and pro-life Governor Tom Corbett signed, Act 122 into law, with the Pennsylvania Family Council helping to lead that 10-month lobbying effort. The law now considers abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities and requires them to follow all of the same health and safety standards, and mandates annual and surprise inspections. Due to the new standards, five of the 22 abortion clinics in 2012 closed.

Notably, Planned Parenthood lobbied against the clinic regulations and mandatory inspections; claiming it “unnecessary” and “burdensome.” Now, they have a former Planned Parenthood clinic escort as governor, Tom Wolf, and are represented in the Capitol by another former governor, Tom Ridge and his lobbying team.

As always, Pennsylvania Family Council will be vigilant in watching our State Capitol and advocating for life. We will continue to seek to shift tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions. We will advocate for pro-life policies that protect women and the life in their wombs, and all innocent human life from conception until natural death.

For more information:

Read about our efforts to pass abortion clinic regulations.

– Watch 3801 Lancaster, an in-depth documentary on Gosnell.