Monday, July 4, 2022

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July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

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The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

PA Officials, Advocates Rally for Abortion Access After Leaked SCOTUS Draft

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Thursday, May 5, 2022   

Advocates from Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania and state officials gathered in Philadelphia Wednesday to stand firm on protecting abortion access, after a leaked draft indicated the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

Pennsylvania has no laws protecting abortion access on the books and Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto any bill restricting it.

Dayle Steinberg, president of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, said it is important to remind people abortions are still safe and legal right now.

"We are fighting to ensure that everyone has the power to control their own bodies," Steinberg asserted. "We deserve elected officials at all levels of government who believe that as well. No judge and no politician should ever block your personal medical decisions or set the course for your life."

The Supreme Court decision will not be finalized until it is officially published, most likely in the next two months. A report found if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the high court, the number of people who may drive to Pennsylvania for an abortion would skyrocket by 1,000%.

Some state lawmakers have introduced anti-abortion legislation including Senate Bill 956, which proposes a constitutional amendment to deny the right to abortion care.

Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Montgomery/Delaware, co-chair of the Women's Health Caucus, said the draft decision is dangerous.

"States that have restrictive abortion legislation have the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity," Cappelletti pointed out. "Here in Pennsylvania, we have high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. If the Legislature ever gets through more legislation that would restrict access, those numbers would go up."

Among Pennsylvania counties, 86% do not have an abortion provider. Wolf joined 16 other governors calling for immediate passage of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would protect access to abortion across the country. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in September and awaits a vote in the Senate.


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