Wolf Administration, Legislators and Community Partners Affirm Importance of Reproductive Health Care for Pennsylvanians

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The Wolf Administration, members of the Women’s Health Caucus, and representatives from the City of Pittsburgh, Planned Parenthood, Healthy Start Pittsburgh and other organizations today affirmed that Pennsylvanians should feel safe accessing the full scope of reproductive health, perinatal and maternal. care available to them and that supports are in place to help mothers and birthers access necessary reproductive and perinatal care.

“With the turn of Roe vs. Wade, we know that many people are confused and concerned about getting the reproductive health care they need and deserve to keep themselves and their families healthy,” said Acting Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Meg Snead. “We’re here to say to all Pennsylvanians: Regardless of where you are in your life, safe and affordable reproductive, perinatal and postpartum healthcare is available.”

DHS administers the federal Medicaid program in Pennsylvania. Through Medicaid and DHS Family Planning Services, people can get free or reduced-cost reproductive health care. This care may include visits to a health care provider, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), screening and education for some types of cancer, and pregnancy counseling from a health care provider. , as preparation for pregnancy, prevention of unwanted pregnancies. pregnancies and allow people to control the timing and spacing of pregnancies. Public funds are not used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant person is in danger.

Providing a full range of reproductive services is important because in Pennsylvania, the overall maternal mortality rate is 82 deaths per 100,000 live births. For people of color, who are already disproportionately affected by poverty and have less access to adequate health care, the mortality rate is 163 per 100,000 live births.
“The Wolf Administration is committed to breaking down barriers to health equity and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to appropriate health and reproductive care, regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or physical accessibility,” said Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and a general practitioner. Dr. Denise Johnson. “Maternal mortality rates for people of color continue to rise, and to reverse that trend, we must emphasize that reproductive health care resources are available to keep pregnant women healthy and safe.”

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“Forcing people to carry pregnancies to term when it’s not right or safe for them is contrary to everything we know about creating positive and healthy outcomes for families, children and individuals,” said Representative Dan Frankel. “We will continue to fight for a commonwealth that supports and protects public health, and that means supporting and protecting access to abortion care.”

“Preserving access to reproductive health care means more than just access to safe and legal abortion services. It means ensuring affordable access to quality prenatal care, expanding postnatal care to prioritize the mental and physical health of new parents, and providing paid family leave,” said Senator Lindsey Williams. “As we work to implement these policies to protect all Pennsylvanians, I am incredibly grateful to the clinic employees who work around the clock to provide these essential health care services to those who have lost access in other states.”

“The need for our neighbors to safely access all forms of reproductive, perinatal and maternal health care is imperative,” said Representative Sara Innamorato. “As some leaders at the federal and state levels continue to restrict access to health care, ensuring reproductive freedom for Pennsylvanians will require perseverance, advocacy, and policy from our legislators, health care providers, nonprofit groups, and community members”.

“Reproductive rights are human rights. That’s not just a slogan. The ability to access reproductive, perinatal, and maternal health care affects not only individual physical health, but also the economic health of women and those giving birth, the developmental health of their children, and general well-being. of families throughout our Commonwealth. ,” Rep. Emily Kinkead said. “In a country with the worst maternal health outcomes in the developed world, I am proud that Governor Wolf recognizes that the only way to change that is to protect and expand investments in reproductive rights and maternal health.”

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Since taking office, Governor Tom Wolf has prioritized reproductive rights, including expanding access to health care and support services for fathers during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and giving children a strong and healthy start. healthy lifestyle that can lead to ongoing health, well-being, and well-being. results throughout his life. More recent, Governor Wolf issued an executive order which affirms the rights and safety of health care providers and out-of-state residents to access reproductive health care in the commonwealth.

“As an organization focused on public health, equity, and focused on the lived experiences of marginalized people, particularly Black women, the decision to overturn Roe presents an affront to our safety and bodily autonomy,” said Jada, executive director of Healthy Start Pittsburgh. Shirriel. “We believe it is imperative that our local leaders work diligently to ensure safe, accessible and affordable reproductive health care for women and birthers across the state.”

Among the Wolf Administration’s investments in maternal and child care, the postpartum Medicaid coverage period was extended for mothers and birthers who are eligible for the program due to their pregnancy up to one year after the end of the pregnancy . Previously, people eligible for Medicaid due to pregnancy were covered for only 60 days after delivery. Nationwide, the Medicaid program pays for one in four births. Last year, Medicaid covered nearly 44,000 births in Pennsylvania.

“Health care at any time before, during and after pregnancy, no matter what outcome a patient chooses, is essential and should be within the reach of people in the Commonwealth,” said Sydney Etheredge, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. of Western Pennsylvania “Socioeconomic barriers, such as cost, prevent people from getting the care they need, which is why we are encouraged by the expansion of postpartum Medicaid and seek further increases in coverage in the future.”

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More information about the Postpartum Medicaid Extension and DHS maternal and child health programs available in Pennsylvania is available online. here.

For more information and to apply for medical assistance and other assistance programs in Pennsylvania, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/compass.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina, DHS- [email protected]

Mark O’Neill, DOH – [email protected]

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