Commentary

Pa. Dems were right: It’s time for lawmakers to prioritize women’s, family health | Opinion

February 16, 2021 6:30 am

Photo by Ingrid LaManna via Flickr Commons

By Melissa Weiler Gerber

We congratulate the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus co-chairs for their Feb.12 op-ed, “Let’s work for – not against – women’s health in 21-22.”

We agree fully that people’s ability to access health care should not be a political game. For far too long, we’ve seen sound policies go to waste one legislative session after another. We have the opportunity to help shape policies that protect access to sexual and reproductive health care and advance health equity.

It is time to prioritize the health of Pennsylvania residents by passing proactive bills that will positively impact their lives and guarantee access to affordable birth control and information and medical care for all reproductive health options.

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Lawmakers also should support comprehensive sex education legislation to ensure Pennsylvania youth have access to sex education that is comprehensive and medically accurate; support Expedited Partner Therapy legislation to reduce STD infection or re-infection; advance the rights of pregnant people and parents by expanding workplace accommodations for breast/chestfeeding, and by passing policies that extend Medicaid coverage postpartum; address mental health; and end racism in health care.

As Title X grantees serving Pennsylvania, we are pleased to join you to advocate to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the Commonwealth during the pandemic and beyond.

Melissa Weiler Gerber is the president of the Alliance of Pennsylvania Councils, a public health nonprofit based in Camp Hill, Pa. 

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