Women’s Health Protection Act
All eyes were on the state of Texas after lawmakers there passed a statewide ban on abortion health services for women. Well, here in Pennsylvania, the House Republican majority is trying to pass similar legislation threatening women’s reproductive health rights.
We, however, believe that abortion is health care, and health care is a human right. It should be accessible without barriers.
That’s why we are introducing legislation that would protect women’s health and provide safe access to abortions. Our legislation would ban Pennsylvania from imposing the kinds of restrictions Texas and other states have imposed, as well as requirements that have no basis in medical necessity, such as requiring women to undergo state mandated counseling prior to receiving healthcare services they’ve already decided they want in consultation with their doctors.
The CDC estimates that more than 700 women die from pregnancy complications each year, with three in five of those deaths being preventable.
Additionally, 50,000 women each year face short-term or long-term severe consequences to their health as an outcome of pregnancy or labor.
This is particularly true for Black women, who are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans’ attempt to ban abortions or make them more difficult to access, subject these women to health complications that can impact their lives in very negative ways.
We are fighting to make sure that women get the health care they need, and that their right to bodily autonomy is protected. Pennsylvania must be a state where constitutional rights are respected and protected.
(State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta represents the 181st Legislative District and Rep. Morgan Cephas represents the 192nd Legislative District, both in Philadelphia.)