THE WOMEN'S HEALTH CAUCUS


 

Cephas to step down as co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus

(Nov 16, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today announced that she will be stepping down from her position as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Cephas said this represents a sweet-and-sour moment in her career as a lawmaker because she is closing a chapter that allowed her to fight for women’s rights at all levels. “I’m proud to say that as the Women’s Health Caucus, we not only fought, but also won many battles together. I had the honor to support this work in Harrisburg and at home, in Philly co-sponsoring legislation aimed to ensure access. We also have made great strides for maternal health in the Commonwealth under the guidance of the WHC in the last two years.” Cephas emphasized the extensive list of the organization’s achievements includes close collaboration with the governor's administration and stakeholders from across the state, which has resulted in a $25 million investment into maternal health and the implementation of the Medical Assistance extension from six weeks to one-year postpartum. “The WHC has played a pivotal role in decisions made at the Capitol. We also worked on the creation of a pathway to certification for doulas through the launch of the Perinatal Doula Certification Program, and improvements in supports for our incarcerated population through the development of the Doula Pilot Program in SCI Cambridge Springs and SCI Muncy,” Cephas said. Read more

 

Fiedler hosts rally for abortion rights on Capitol steps

(Oct 24, 2022)

The event, called “Abortion Freedom for All,” drew hundreds of people to the Capitol steps just as the General Assembly was about to reconvene for session. Read more

 

Women of the PA Black Caucus and Women’s Health Caucus demand the PA Human Relations Commission to investigate Philly Pregnancy Center, Norristown

(Oct 17, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today sent a letter to the Human Relations Commission along with House Members of the PA Legislative Black Caucus and the Women’s Health Caucus, where she serves as co-chair, requesting the institution to investigate a recent incident that occurred at the Philly Pregnancy Center. The letter states that a black pregnant patient from Delaware County was harassed and scolded by a staffer who was questioning the need of a doctor’s note to leave work. “While we have made great strides, there is still much work to be done and the incident that took place at the Philly Pregnancy Center Norristown location exemplifies the reasons we are not done yet,” Members highlight in the letter. “Pregnant and birthing people in Pennsylvania should have safe places to seek and receive equitable care no matter their ZIP code, race, ethnicity, gender or income level. As shown in the viral video, that is not always the case.” The correspondence also signed by state Reps. Mary Joe Daley, D-Montgomery, co-chair; Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman and Darisha Parker, D-Phila., chairwoman of the PLBC Subcommittee on Women & Girls of Color. It emphasized the need to hold providers accountable for their interactions with patients in order to guarantee a fairness in the services they offer. The caucus also highlighted in the letter that there is an imperative to protect and expand access to care, Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus Highlights Summer Recess Activities, Plans to Continue Advocating for Abortion Rights in Fall Session

(Oct 06, 2022)

Building on great progress made for maternal health over the last year, the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus continues the fight to improve health outcomes for women and families and continues to work to protect reproductive health access for all. Read more

 

Fiedler, Kinkead introduce package of reproductive rights legislation

(Sep 19, 2022)

“The attacks we’re seeing on reproductive rights from our Republican colleagues is a monumental infringement on the rights of women and birthing people across the commonwealth. We are here today to propose these important bills to protect these crucial rights for the women and birthing people of Pennsylvania.” Read more

 

Roundtable Focuses on Deceptive Practices of So-Called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

(Sep 07, 2022)

“The most personal medical decision a woman makes should be between herself and her doctor, not between a male-dominated legislature or the Supreme Court. A woman’s right to choose should be just that – a woman’s right to choose.” Read more

 

Department of Human Services, Legislators, Community Partners Affirm Importance of Reproductive Health Care for Pennsylvanians

(Aug 17, 2022)

Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead, members of the Women’s Health Caucus, and representatives from community organizations today affirmed that Pennsylvanians should feel safe in accessing the full scope of reproductive, perinatal, and maternal health care available to them and that supports are in place to help mothers and birthing people access necessary reproductive and perinatal care. Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus Holds Third Post-Roe PA Policy Hearing in Pittsburgh

(Aug 11, 2022)

The Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus, in conjunction with the House and Senate Democratic Policy Committees, held its third hearing on post-Roe Pennsylvania at Chatham University. Read more

 

Cephas applauds $500,000 funding provided by City of Philadelphia to the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania

(Aug 08, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today commended the announcement made by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney of a 500,000 investment by the city to the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania. Cephas, who is co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus, indicated that she is appreciative of the city’s effort because the funds heading to ALF-PA will help to remove barriers for people in need of abortion that cannot afford insurance or pay out-of-pocket for services. “These funds will expand the current capacity of the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA to address critical needs. As co-chair of the Women’s Health Caucus, this is a proud moment. It’s uplifting to know that our voices are being heard and that this issue is being prioritized in Philadelphia”, Cephas said. Cephas also reaffirmed her commitment to strengthen reproductive health care and maintain access to abortion and other reproductive services in the state of Pennsylvania. “Philly has taken a step forward, but much more is needed; we have to keep in mind not only residents of the commonwealth, but also people traveling from other states to Pennsylvania in search of care. I will continue championing for safety and sustained access to the procedure. I hope this investment could also serve as a call to action Read more

 

PA Women’s Health Caucus applauds defeat of anti-abortion constitutional amendment by Kansas voters

(Aug 03, 2022)

This victory in Kansas shows the power collective action has in defeating these minority-held, antifreedom policies. We hope this wakeup call will deter the Pennsylvania constitutional amendment from receiving a vote next session, and we can instead focus on legislation that would actually help our constituents like increasing the minimum wage, requiring paid family leave, and requiring insurance coverage for contraceptives. Read more

 

Policy hearing continues discussion of navigating post-Roe Pennsylvania

(Jul 26, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, JULY 26 – The House and Senate Democratic Policy Committees continued a series of hearings Tuesday to further discuss the impacts of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, and what the future of reproductive healthcare looks like in Pennsylvania. Tuesday’s hearing featured testimony from medical professionals and reproductive healthcare advocates. Much of the discussion focused on how lawmakers can help not only sustain abortion access in Pennsylvania, but expand access as well. “We all know that we are in an extremely difficult environment after the decision was made by the Supreme Court. On one hand, we celebrate and acknowledge that abortion access is available and accessible here in the commonwealth. But we also have to recognize that access is under threat every single day,” said Rep. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), who co-hosted Tuesday’s hearing. “We have to do our due diligence to understand what the climate is on the ground and better understand how we can better protect and expand that access here in the commonwealth. Dr. Aasta Mehta, a Medical Officer of Women’s Health for the Philadelphia Health Department, testified that Pennsylvania is in the midst of a maternal mortality crisis, one that’s disproportionately impacting Black and low-income people. Dr. Mehta said restricting abortion access will only exacerbate that crisis. “Evidence shows that access to reproductive health services, Read more

 

Policy hearing identifies facts and fiction of post-Roe Pennsylvania

(Jul 19, 2022)

The House and Senate Policy Committees convened a hearing Tuesday morning to explore what the future of healthcare looks like in Pennsylvania after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. Read more

 

Vice President Harris joins House & Senate Democrats to protect the rights of citizens

(Jul 17, 2022)

Harris traveled to Philadelphia Saturday to meet with more than three dozen state House and Senate Democrats, plus members of the state’s congressional delegation, to join the lawmakers in a call to action and to discuss the relentless effort of right-wing extremists to take away rights, starting with the right to abortion and reproductive health care. Read more

 

Lawmakers seek protections for PA abortion care providers, out-of-state patients

(Jul 11, 2022)

Pennsylvania is now one of the top five places people will travel for safe and legal abortion care. Women's Health Caucus members want to ensure that health care professionals who provide legal abortion care and the patients who receive this care are safe from potential disciplinary, legal or criminal action from these states. Read more

 

Women's Health Caucus Supported Legislation

(Jul 01, 2022)

The Women's Health Caucus supports the following legislation for the 2021-22 Legislative Session and is working towards its enactment. Read more

 

After Roe, we know what the Pa. GOP will do, says Rep. Fiedler

(Jun 29, 2022)

In Pennsylvania, abortion remains safe and legal, for now. But none of us should count on the GOP majority in the state House to defend our rights or our bodies. Read more

 

Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Co-Chairs and Members of State Senate Democratic Caucus Slam Supreme Court Decision, Call for Action to Preserve Abortion Access in Pennsylvania

(Jun 24, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 24 — Co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus (WHC) and members of the Pennsylvania State Senate Democratic Caucus criticized today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The ruling by the court not only upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks but also goes further and overturns both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, opening the door for states to outright ban or severely restrict abortion. The ruling eliminates the constitutional right to an abortion recognized by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Since a draft of the opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked and its authenticity subsequently confirmed by the court, advocacy groups, elected officials, and stakeholders have been issuing dire warnings about what such a radical decision would mean and the detrimental impact it would have on the health of millions of Americans. After today’s decision, the 13 states that passed trigger laws now have bans or severe restrictions already enshrined into law, leaving millions of Americans without access to abortion immediately. Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma law now criminalizes abortion with penalties ranging from 5 to ten years in prison. "The Supreme Court's decision is absolutely gutting and a severe blow to women across the country,” said WHC co-chair Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th). “We have a maternal mortality crisis in the Read more

 

Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Are Collecting Troves of Data That Could Be Weaponized Against Women

(Jun 22, 2022)

“It’s just nuts,” says Mary Jo Daley, a Democratic state representative in Pennsylvania, who introduced a bill directed at pregnancy centers. “They’re collecting all this information, and you don’t know how they’re gonna use it because they’re not health care providers. And women don’t know that. It’s frightening.” Read more

 

Opinion | Pro-Life Representatives may be the reason thousands of students can’t afford Pitt

(Jun 21, 2022)

This tuition discount is a life-changing benefit for many Pennsylvanian families and students. In many cases, it is the only factor that makes Pitt affordable. The fact the bill is at risk due to anti-abortion sentiment among state representatives is an indication of how backward the pro-life movement has become. Read more

 

Daley: Failure to enact workplace accommodations for nursing mothers is exacerbating the baby formula shortage

(May 31, 2022)

We are facing a baby formula crisis in which mothers searching for formula are visiting stores with empty shelves or are paying grossly overcharged amounts to simply provide nutrients for their babies. There is a confluence of reasons why this is occurring, including a recall by one of the industry's largest manufacturers, persistent supply-chain issues, and a market dominated by only a few manufacturers. While supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic are unavoidable, there are still policy choices that have long caused a dependence on baby formula. Currently, in Pennsylvania, without a comprehensive paid family leave law, mothers can be forced back into work quickly after birth. Once they are at work, nursing mothers may not be guaranteed to have a reasonable accommodation to pump breast milk. Without time to breastfeed at home or the ability to pump breast milk in a private and sanitary place during work, the opportunity to breastfeed is nonexistent for far too many new mothers. My legislation, H.B. 1739, would require reasonable accommodations for nursing mothers. These accommodations include providing a private, sanitary space – not a restroom – where an employee can express milk and providing unpaid break time or allowing an employee to use paid break, mealtime, or both to express milk. The refusal of the majority party to even call up H.B. 1739 hurts children and mothers. The formula shortage is bringing those harms to light. This Read more

 

Cephas to step down as co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus
Nov 16, 2022

Fiedler hosts rally for abortion rights on Capitol steps
Oct 24, 2022

Women of the PA Black Caucus and Women’s Health Caucus demand the PA Human Relations Commission to investigate Philly Pregnancy Center, Norristown
Oct 17, 2022

Women’s Health Caucus Highlights Summer Recess Activities, Plans to Continue Advocating for Abortion Rights in Fall Session
Oct 06, 2022

Fiedler, Kinkead introduce package of reproductive rights legislation
Sep 19, 2022

Roundtable Focuses on Deceptive Practices of So-Called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”
Sep 07, 2022

Department of Human Services, Legislators, Community Partners Affirm Importance of Reproductive Health Care for Pennsylvanians
Aug 17, 2022

Women’s Health Caucus Holds Third Post-Roe PA Policy Hearing in Pittsburgh
Aug 11, 2022

Cephas applauds $500,000 funding provided by City of Philadelphia to the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania
Aug 08, 2022

PA Women’s Health Caucus applauds defeat of anti-abortion constitutional amendment by Kansas voters
Aug 03, 2022

Policy hearing continues discussion of navigating post-Roe Pennsylvania
Jul 26, 2022

Policy hearing identifies facts and fiction of post-Roe Pennsylvania
Jul 19, 2022

Vice President Harris joins House & Senate Democrats to protect the rights of citizens
Jul 17, 2022

Lawmakers seek protections for PA abortion care providers, out-of-state patients
Jul 11, 2022

Women's Health Caucus Supported Legislation
Jul 01, 2022

After Roe, we know what the Pa. GOP will do, says Rep. Fiedler
Jun 29, 2022

Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Co-Chairs and Members of State Senate Democratic Caucus Slam Supreme Court Decision, Call for Action to Preserve Abortion Access in Pennsylvania
Jun 24, 2022

Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Are Collecting Troves of Data That Could Be Weaponized Against Women
Jun 22, 2022

Opinion | Pro-Life Representatives may be the reason thousands of students can’t afford Pitt
Jun 21, 2022

Daley: Failure to enact workplace accommodations for nursing mothers is exacerbating the baby formula shortage
May 31, 2022