Anti-Abortion Lawmakers: Wolf Nominee “Failed Miserably” on Gosnell

They oppose Pedro Cortes as the governor's Secretary of State.

Pedro Cortes  | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

Pedro Cortes | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

A coalition of anti-abortion lawmakers is opposing Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee for secretary of state, Pedro Cortes, saying Cortes didn’t do enough to stop Kermit Gosnell, the West Philly abortion doctor who was convicted of killing babies born alive.

Forty-nine members of the Pennsylvania Legislature sent Wolf a letter opposing Cortes’ nomination, PennLive reports:

The letter cites a Philadelphia grand jury report that indicated attorneys at the Department of State, under Cortes’ leadership during former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration, had been notified of Gosnell’s “illegal and reckless abortion practices” yet took no action to suspend or revoke his medical license.

A spokeswoman for Cortes said he has responded to individual senators about this matter, explaining that he wasn’t aware of or informed about any complaints involving Gosnell during his former stint at the state department.

“Simply put, it was a failure to perform by a few individuals,” said spokeswoman Adriana Arvizo. “The secretary will continue to have this discussion with members of the Senate. The secretary believes the Senate will make a fair decision based on his long and dedicated record of bipartisan public service.”

The anti-abortion website Life News adds:

The letter from the lawmakers notes, “In his resume and biography Secretary Cortes takes credit for various achievements in dealing with occupational and professional licensure complaints and investigations during his tenure. Yet at the same time he takes no responsibility for the documented blatant failures of those same units under his leadership.”

The letter goes on to say, “…it is deeply troubling to us that you would nominate someone for such an important position as Secretary of the Commonwealth despite his deep ties to this national nightmare.”

The full letter is below. A Wolf spokesman has said the governor will continue to support Cortes.

Earlier: Kermit Gosnell’s Babies