Pittsburgh, PA – The Wolf Administration, members of the Women’s Health Caucus and representatives from the City of Pittsburgh, Planned Parenthood, Healthy Start Pittsburgh and other organizations today affirmed that Pennsylvanians should feel confident in accessing the full range of reproductive, perinatal and reproductive health care. to the mother. available to them and that there is support to help mothers and people giving birth access necessary reproductive and perinatal care.
“With the overthrow of
Roe v. Wade“We know many people are confused and worried about getting the reproductive health care they need and deserve to keep themselves and their families healthy,” said Acting Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Meg Snead. “We are here to tell all the citizens of Pennsylvania. : whatever stage you’re at in your life, there’s safe, affordable reproductive, perinatal and postpartum health care.”
DHS administers the federal Medicaid program in Pennsylvania. Through Medicaid and DHS Family Planning Services, individuals can get free or reduced-cost reproductive health care. This care may include health care provider visits, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), screening and education for certain types of cancer, and counseling from a health care provider about pregnancy, such as preparing for pregnancy, preventing unintended 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 woman is in danger.
Providing a full range of reproductive services is important 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 breaking down barriers to health equity and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to appropriate reproductive and medical care, regardless of race, socioeconomic background or physical access,” said Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Surgeon General. 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 pregnancies to term when it’s not fair or unsafe for them goes against everything we know about creating positive and healthy outcomes for families, children and individuals,” said Representative Dan Frankel. “We will continue to fight for a community 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. It means ensuring affordable access to quality prenatal care, expanding postpartum care to provide prioritizing the mental and physical health of new parents and providing paid family leave,” said Senator Lindsey Williams. “As we work to implement these policies to protect all Pennsylvanians, I am extremely grateful to the clinic employees who are working tirelessly to provide these essential health care services to those who have lost access in other states.”
“The need for our neighbors to have safe access to 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 limit access to health care, ensuring reproductive freedom for Pennsylvanians will require persistence, advocacy and policy from our legislators, health care providers, nonprofit groups and community members.”
“Reproductive rights are human rights. This is not just a slogan. The ability to access reproductive, perinatal and maternal health care affects not only individual physical health, but also affects the economic health of women and people who are born, the developmental health of their children, and the overall well-being of families across 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 this 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, healthy start that can lead to in continued health, well-being and positivity. outcomes throughout their lives. Recently,
Governor Wolf issued an executive order which affirms the rights and safety of health care providers and overseas residents to access reproductive health care in the Commonwealth.
“As an organization focused on public health, equity, and centering the lived experiences of marginalized people — especially black women — the decision to overturn Roe represents an affront to our safety, security, and bodily autonomy,” said Healthy Start Pittsburgh CEO Jada. 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 who give birth across the Commonwealth.”
Among the Wolf Administration’s investments in maternal and child care, Medicaid’s postpartum coverage period was extended for mothers and births who are eligible for the program because of their pregnancy to one year after the pregnancy ends. Previously, people who qualified for Medicaid because of their pregnancy only received coverage for 60 days after giving birth. Nationally, the Medicaid program pays for one out of every four births. Last year, Medicaid covered about 44,000 births in Pennsylvania.
“Medical care at any point before, during and after pregnancy, no matter what outcome the patient chooses, is essential and should be accessible to people in the Commonwealth,” said Sydney Etheredge, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western. Pennsylvania. “Socioeconomic barriers, such as cost, prevent people from getting the care they need, which is why we are encouraged by the expansion of postpartum Medicaid and look to further increases in coverage in the future.”
More information on the postpartum Medicaid extension and DHS maternal-child health programs available throughout Pennsylvania are available online
To learn more and apply for Medicaid and other assistance programs in Pennsylvania, visit
MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina, DHS – email@example.com
Mark O’Neill, DOH –