(Harrisburg, PA) March 1, 2023 — Today, on the first day of Women’s History Month, Chairs of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus, Senator Judith Schwank (D-11 Berks), Representative Mary Jo Daley (D-148 Montgomery), and Representative Gina Curry (D-164 Delaware) were joined by Women’s Health Caucus (WHC) members to kick off the 2023-2024 legislative session by announcing a new mission and platform and by launching a new joint Subcommittee and website!
The WHC shared its new mission statement:
The Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral caucus of legislators partnering with advocacy groups to advance legislation and policies that promote equity and protect the health and wellbeing of women, gender expansive people, and families in Pennsylvania. As a caucus, we recognize the intersectionality of social issues that support physical and mental health. We are committed to closing existing disparities and removing barriers Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds face when seeking healthcare and systems of support. Integral to our mission is the belief that all Pennsylvanians have the right to make private, personal medical decisions.
On their newly redesigned website, the WHC launched a new platform that outlines their legislative and advocacy goals as a caucus. Included in the platform are sections on Reproductive Freedom, Ending the Maternal Mortality Crisis, Health Care Access and Equity, Economic Empowerment, and Justice and Inclusion.
“Our caucus is proud to launch our new mission and platform that is driven by our commitment to protecting individual freedoms, focusing on access and equity, economic empowerment, and justice and inclusion. I am thrilled to serve as a co-Chair of the caucus once again as these shared values guide us in our legislative and advocacy work for this session,” said Representative Mary Jo Daley. “With the historic election of Speaker McClinton in the House, I’m sure we will be able to make progress on the critical issues the Women’s Health Caucus is fighting for.”
The WHC welcomed a new Co-Chair to the Caucus, Representative Gina Curry. As a co-chair of the WHC, Curry is committed to addressing issues facing Pennsylvanians like maternity care deserts and systemic inequities in the health care system. “I look forward to working diligently to provide adequate and equitable access to health care that impact the women in my district and across the Commonwealth,” said Representative Curry. “My goal is to provide innovative ways to educate and bring a comprehensive, expansive awareness and solutions to women’s healthcare needs.”
Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus has also announced a joint Subcommittee with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus on Women and Girls of Color, which will be Chaired by Representative La’Tasha D. Mayes (D-24 Allegheny). Mayes, founder and former president and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, has been an unwavering advocate for improving the health and well-being of marginalized communities. “Our Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus is ready to meet the needs of women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive folx across this Commonwealth. As Chair of the Joint Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color, I am deeply committed to leading a legislative and policy agenda that centers the health and well-being of our most marginalized communities especially Black women and women of color, mothers and caretakers and LGBTQ+ women and folx. I am proud to serve with my colleagues in the Women’s Health Caucus,” said Representative Mayes.
Overall, the theme of the WHC agenda for this session is to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have affordable access to the care they deserve. “Equitable access to health care services and economic security are both crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. That’s why this session, the Women’s Health Caucus is not only going to continue its work of ending care deserts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but we will also raise our efforts to ensure that all Pennsylvanians are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace,” said Senator Judy Schwank. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves to feel the empowerment that comes from economic freedom, and our caucus is dedicated to making that a reality.”
The Women’s Health Caucus reaffirmed its commitment to protecting reproductive rights here in Pennsylvania. WHC members have proudly been at the forefront of fighting against anti-abortion bills in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and have introduced policies and solutions that would protect and expand access to reproductive health care in Pennsylvania. The Caucus works with several advocacy groups to ensure the policies they propose will have the greatest impact. This session, the Caucus is proud to have 79 legislators participating as members.
“One of the best parts of being a Co-Chair of the Women’s Health Caucus is the opportunity to host a forum where legislators can have discussions with advocates and folks who have firsthand experience with the problems our policy proposals aim to solve,” said Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-17 Montgomery), co-Chair of the PA WHC. “Our caucus’ shared values allow us to work together towards our goals in the strongest way possible.”
Explore the WHC’s new website at pawomenshealthcaucus.com. Stay up to date with the Caucus on social media by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Watch the recording of the press event here.