Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day. You can read “The Quickie'' online here.
In today’s Quickie: employers step up to cover reproductive health care, a PA physician and abortion storyteller’s call to action, PA governor race: a key midterm race for abortion access, and NY announces more funding for abortion providers!
EMPLOYERS EXPAND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS: Axios reports this week that an increasing number of employers are expanding health care coverage for reproductive health care like IVF, surrogacy, fertility services, adoption, and abortion travel benefits. Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, recently expanded its health coverage to include family planning benefits like IVF, surrogacy, and adoption. Amazon, the second largest private employer, has offered fertility benefits since 2019. Other large employers like Disney and Meta are also covering travel for employees in states with an abortion ban to access states where abortion remains legal. Expanding reproductive health care coverage could provide key benefits to companies, like improving employee retention, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, and reducing maternal mortality rates. As Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said at this week’s Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Summit: “When women lose, the whole economy loses”.
Read more at Axios.
“ROE HAS FALLEN, AND I AM BREATHLESS IN MY ANGER”: In an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, physician and abortion storyteller Anusha Viswanathan offers a call to action for Pennsylvania voters: fight back in this election. Dr. Viswanathan shares how during her first “happily planned” pregnancy, her obstetrician found serious complications at 20 weeks — and how the state’s abortion restrictions created a ticking clock for her decision to have an abortion. She writes that while they grieved their circumstances, she and her husband have never grieved their choice. Now, politicians like Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz are prepared to take that decision making power from millions of people — and Dr. Viswanathan is rightfully angry:
“… It is infuriating that Pennsylvania GOP candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz, categorize those who seek abortions as ‘murderers,’ and would seek to criminalize healthcare. They are now silent or deflect on their casual cruelty, because they are pandering for votes.
“It is infuriating that the Pennsylvania’s GOP led legislature, under the cover of darkness and in an opening salvo to a state-wide abortion ban, voted to advance SB106 which states that any ‘right relating to abortion’ should not be protected in our state constitution.”
But anger is not the only emotion Dr. Viswanathan feels in this moment:
“Roe has fallen, but I must remain boundless in my hope.
“We’re facing threats to our reproductive freedom from all directions, and choice is on the ballot in Pennsylvania this election. The compassionate care I received in Pittsburgh could be outlawed by this November. But anguish has also mobilized many of us to speak out. And in this heaviness, we find moments of connection that sustain us, and build us… Roe has fallen. Time to fight.”
Read Dr. Viswanathan’s op-ed at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
ALL EYES ON PENNSYLVANIA: COSMOPOLITAN ZEROES IN ON PENNSYLVANIA’S GOVERNOR RACE AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR PROTECTING ABORTION ACCESS
As part of Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s partnership with Cosmopolitan, abortion rights champion Josh Shapiro and thePennsylvania’s gubernatorial race gets the feature treatment, underscoring the race’s importance in protecting abortion access across the region. Currently in Pennsylvania, the only thing preventing the passage of an aboriton ban is the veto pen of Gov. Tom Wolff. Shapiro’s opponent, Doug Mastriano, is “one of the most extreme anti-abortion activists in the country,” says Lindsey Mauldin, director of coordinated programs for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC. In this piece, Josh Shapiro detailshow he plans to protect abortion access as Governor, promising to “continue to stand up and defend freedom here in Pennsylvania.”
GOV. HOCHUL ANNOUNCES $13.4 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR NY ABORTION PROVIDERS: This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an additional $13.4 million in grants from the New York’s Abortion Provider Support Fund for abortion providers to help them with an influx of out-of-state patients seeking care in New York following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This round of grants funds 37 providers and 64 clinical sites. In July, Gov. Hochul announced $10 million in first-round grants as part of the Fund, which was created in May in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Read more at New York Daily News.