Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania joins other affiliates throughout the state and the country to advocate for legislation related to reproductive health care. PPSP is also an active participant in numerous local, regional, and state-wide coalitions with organizations working on like-minded issues.
- Read our Public Affairs Updates
- Join the Planned Parenthood Action Network (PPAN), the Planned Parenthood email network.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join us on a lobby day or write a letter to the editor.
Current State Issues:
- Abortion Facility Regulations
- Health Care Reform Implementation in Pennsylvania
- Comprehensive Sexuality Education (Abstinence Plus)
- Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act
Abortion Facility Regulations
Some of our legislators in the Pennsylvania Senate have decided that they, too, would like to score some political points at the expense of Pennsylvania women, and they are moving fast to impose event greater restrictions on access to abortion.
In December 2011, Governor Corbett signed Senate Bill 732 into law. This new law forces free-standing abortion providers to be regulated as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (ASF) which require burdensome and unnecessary structural and staffing changes. This law is not about patient safety - instead, it is aimed at making abortion care inaccessible in Pennsylvania.
We've Had Enough! Join the We've Had Enough Campaign.
PPSP is working with two coalitions at the state and regional level, Pennsylvanians for Choice and Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, to ensure that women's reproductive health care is not compromised during health care reform implementation efforts at the state level. Currently, PPSP is fighting a proposed ban on insurance plans from covering abortion procedures in Pennsylvania's state exchange, slated to be available for enrollment in 2014. The ban would drastically restrict Pennsylvania women's access to abortion services leaving women worse off than they currently are. Senate Bill 3 passed out of the PA Senate in June and will move to the PA House. A companion bill already exists in the House, HB 912, sponsored by Rep. Micozzie from HD-163 in Southeastern Pennsylvania. However, in Early December, a similar bill in House, House Bill 1977 sponsored by Rep. Baker from Tioga County, passed out of the PA House and now moves to the PA Senate for consideration.
What Are We Doing?
Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania is working with the Pennsylvanians for Responsible Sex Education (PARSE) Coalition to expand existing state standards for sexuality education to include comprehensive sexuality education, also called Abstinence-Plus.
In April 2009, two bills were introduced in the Pennsylvania State House: The Healthy Youth Act (#1163) and the Notice Home Act (#1162). They were eventually combined into one bill, The Healthy Youth Act (#1163).
The Healthy Youth Act, introduced by Representative Chelsa Wagner (D-Allegheny Couny) would set guidelines for Pennsylvania Public Schools for teaching sex education in schools. The bill would require that curriculum:
- Provide age-appropriate, medically accurate, and non-discriminatory information;
- Teach and reinforce that not engaging in sexual intercourse is the only certain way to prevent pregnancy and to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS;
- Provide information about the health benefits of condoms and other barrier methods as a means to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV;
- Encourage youth to communicate with family and trusted adults about sexuality;
- Teach that alcohol and drug use can affect the ability to make responsible decisions.
The bill also incorporates language from The Notice Home Act, originally sponsored by Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne County) which requires provision of information to parents about the content of specific public school curricula as they pertain to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs or instruction, and methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
The Healthy Youth Act (HB 1163) passed out of the Pennsylvania Education Committee but did not reach the House floor for a full vote during the 2009-2010 Legislative Session. Stay tuned for future developments.
What Can You Do?
First, join our email Action Network to receive updates on Sex Education and other important issues! Click here to join PPAN or visit our wesite at http://www.ppsp.org/. On the left toolbar, click "Get Involved Locally" and go to "Take Action."
Also, join us in local advocacy efforts like lobby visits with legislators, sending a letter to the editor to your local paper, or a phone bank night talking to other voters on the importance of sex education in Pennsylvania schools. For more information, send an email to email@example.com.
Published by the PPSP Public Affairs department, Updates highlight the most pressing issues related to reproductive health each month.
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