Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The Wolf administration, members of the Women’s Health Caucus, and officials from the City of Pittsburgh, Planned Parenthood, Healthy Start Pittsburgh, and other organizations today said Pennsylvanians should feel safe accessing the of reproductive, perinatal and maternal health care. available to them and that supports are in place to help mothers and people giving birth access needed reproductive and perinatal care.
“With the reversal of
Roe vs. Wadewe know many people are confused and worried about getting the reproductive health care they need and deserve to stay healthy and their families,” said Meg Snead, Acting Secretary of the Department of social services (DHS). “We are here to say to all Pennsylvanians: No matter what stage you are in in your life, safe and affordable reproductive, perinatal and postpartum health care is available.”
DHS administers the federal Medicaid program in Pennsylvania. Through Medicaid and DHS Family Planning Services, individuals can receive free or reduced-cost reproductive health care. This care may include visits with a health care provider, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), screening and education for certain types of cancer, and counseling for a health care provider about pregnancy, such as preparing for pregnancy, preventing pregnancies, and enabling individuals to control the timing and spacing of pregnancies. No public funds are used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant person is in danger.
It is important to provide a full range of reproductive services 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 death rate is 163 per 100,000 live births.
“The Wolf administration is committed to removing barriers to health equity and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to appropriate reproductive health and medical care, regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or their physical accessibility,” the acting secretary of the Department of Health and Pennsylvania’s Surgeon General said. Dr Denise Johnson. “Maternal mortality rates for people of color continue to rise and to reverse this trend, we must emphasize that reproductive health care resources are available to keep those who are pregnant healthy and safe.”
“Forcing people to carry a pregnancy to term when it’s not right or safe for them is contrary to everything we know about creating positive, healthy outcomes for families, children, and individuals,” said Rep. 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 care. This 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 put these policies in place to protect all Pennsylvanians, I am extremely grateful to the clinic employees who work tirelessly to provide these essential health 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, securing the reproductive freedom of Pennsylvanians will take perseverance, advocacy, and policy from our legislators, health care providers , non-profit groups and community members.”
“Reproductive rights are human rights. It’s not just a slogan. The ability to access reproductive, perinatal and maternal health care impacts not only individual physical health, but also economic health. of women and people giving birth, on the developmental health of their children and the general well-being of families in our Commonwealth,” said Representative Emily Kinkead. “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 reproductive rights and investments in maternal health.”
Since taking office, Governor Tom Wolf has prioritized reproductive rights, including expanding access to health care and support services for parents during pregnancy and the postpartum period and giving children a strong and healthy start that can lead to health, well-being and a positive life. results throughout their lives. More recently,
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 centered on the lived experiences of marginalized people – especially black women – the decision to overrule Roe presents an affront to our safety, security and bodily autonomy. “said Jada, CEO 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 people giving birth across the Commonwealth.”
Among the Wolf administration’s investments in mother-child care, the postpartum Medicaid coverage period has been extended for mothers and birthers who are eligible for the program due to pregnancy to one year after birth. end of a pregnancy. Previously, people eligible for Medicaid due to pregnancy were only covered for 60 days after delivery. Nationally, the Medicaid program pays for one in four births. Last year, Medicaid covered nearly 44,000 births in Pennsylvania.
“Medical care at all times before, during and after pregnancy, regardless of the outcome chosen by the patient, is essential and should be available to people across the Commonwealth,” said Sydney Etheredge, President and Chief Executive Officer. of Planned Parenthood of Western. Pennsylvania. “Socio-economic barriers, like cost, prevent people from getting the care they need, which is why we are encouraged by the expansion of Medicaid after childbirth and are considering further increases in coverage at the future.”
More information about postpartum Medicaid expansion and DHS maternal and child health programs available throughout Pennsylvania is available online.
To learn more and apply for medical assistance and other assistance programs in Pennsylvania, visit
MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina, DHS – [email protected]
Mark O’Neill, DOH – [email protected]v