For Rep. Susan Wild, supporting PA families includes reproductive rights and much more

susan wild

Congresswoman Susan Wild speaking at the grand opening of a TSA security checkpoint at the Lehigh Valley International Airport on July 28, 2023 (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Bonnie Fuller

May 10, 2024

Rep. Susan Wild wants to be very clear with Pennsylvanians: Donald Trump is committed to taking away women’s reproductive freedom, but he is not alone in the Republican party.

“Donald Trump or no Donald Trump, there are people I serve with on the other side of the aisle who are very committed to taking away women’s reproductive freedom,” stressed Wild, in an exclusive interview with Keystone Newsroom. “There’s many, many people, many politicians, who want to see this happen.”

The evidence of this is piling up everywhere. Trump, the presumptive nominee for president, told Time magazine in an interview published April 30 that he is fine with states prosecuting women who have abortions and has no objection to “abortion ban” states tracking women in case they leave those states to end their pregnancies.

He also refused to make a commitment in the interview to refrain from signing a federal abortion ban. And then, of course, he has also repeatedly boasted that he is responsible for “killing” Roe V Wade.

Wild, who has represented her 7th congressional district since 2018, is facing a tough re-election campaign in which she will face off against Trump loyalist Ryan Mackenzie, who is firmly opposed to abortion and reproductive freedom.

Mackenzie, who represents the 187th Legislative District in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, was also among a group of Pennsylvania legislators who tried to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results for Joe Biden in 2020.

The Congresswoman, who is a mom of two, isn’t just talking the talk about protecting reproductive freedom, she has jumped into action to try to protect Pennsylvania’s women and families, most recently co-sponsoring national legislation to preserve access to IVF.

Wild joined with Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth to write The Access to Family Building Act after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that IVF doctors and fertility clinics could be held criminally liable for a “wrongful death” if they destroyed a fertilized egg used in IVF procedures – even accidentally.

But Republican Senator Cindy Hyde – Smith blocked the Senate from voting on the bill, calling it “a vast overreach.”

While Wild acknowledges that IVF and reproductive freedom are protected “in Pennsylvania right now, at this moment with our governor (Democrat Josh Shapiro), we are safe,” that may not always be the case.

“But that doesn’t mean that we would be with the next governor or a different state legislature,” she pointed out. “And importantly, I want to emphasize, yes, I represent a community in Pennsylvania, but this bill is designed to protect women around the country.”

Wild remains deeply concerned about the plight of military families who “have no control over where their next assignment is going to be,” she explains.” They might be stationed in Pennsylvania in the middle of their reproductive years only to find out that they’re being transferred to Alabama or another state which has an abortion ban.

Many Democratic representatives are also deeply concerned that, if Trump is elected, he doesn’t need to even pass a national abortion ban through Congress to effectively end access to the procedure or to medication abortion, which utilizes the prescription pill mifepristone to safely induce an abortion.

All Trump has to do is order his Justice Department to enforce the 1837 Comstock Act, which makes it illegal to send any materials – drugs and surgical equipment used to perform abortions – across state lines by mail or through services like Fed Ex and UPS. Plus, he can order his head of the FDA to withdraw the drugs used for medication abortion from the market.

Both these methods of ending abortion nationally are outlined in Project 2025, a very detailed blueprint for the Trump administration, to enact once he is elected to the White House. Project 2025 is available online for any American to read.

However, Wild isn’t only thinking about reproductive freedom for Penssylvania’s women, she is also planning for how to make it easier for them and their families to access affordable daycare and early education for their children.

“Let’s face it,” she told Keystone Newsroom, “most families are two parent working families now. And yet we have never in this country created any sort of system for how we are going to take care of all these children when we’ve got two parents working.”

Wild noted that Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin famously said “it’s not our (society’s) job to take care of children.”

Wild vehemently disagrees.

“That was spoken by somebody who obviously enjoys privilege, is an older white guy and chances are he isn’t raising children anymore,” she said. “And when his family did have younger children, probably had the means to make sure they had a full-time nanny.”

Johnson is, in fact, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate with an estimated net worth of $39 million.

In contrast, Wild’s belief is that if America is “a country of family values,” then government has a role to play in making it easier for families that want children to be able to have them.

That’s why she is a co-sponsor for the Childcare For Working Family Act, which ensures that families will pay no more than 7% of their income for childcare.

The bill also provides federal funding for more childcare centers, as well as funding for training for childcare workers and better pay for those providers.

“Childcare workers are among the worst paid occupations in this country, which is a scary thought when you think about dropping your child off with somebody who might really have the best of intentions,” she explained. “But if you’re low paid and you’re forced to take a second job, perhaps at night, I can see where a childcare worker would not be able to give her daytime job her best efforts.”

While Wild has known that the Childcare Act could go “nowhere with this Congress,” in which Republicans control the House and have demonstrated no interest in helping families with childcare needs, she is hopeful that if Democrats can retake the House, hold the Senate and Joe Biden is re-elected, she could at least get some of its provisions enacted for families.

Universal pre-K for American children is another battle that Wild will fight for Pennsylvanian and American families if she is re-elected and Democrats are in power.

“Getting universal preschool in place would be amazing because children would start learning at a younger age,” she enthused. “And it means that these kids get to school better socialized, more educated, their linguistic skills are better and in every way it’s good for the children, not to mention, good for the families and good for the economy because parents have more freedom of employment when they don’t have to worry or juggle childcare all the time.”

Author

  • Bonnie Fuller

    Bonnie Fuller is the former CEO & Editor-in-Chief of HollywoodLife.com, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, USWeekly and YM. She now writes about politics and reproductive rights.

CATEGORIES: POLITICS | ELECTION

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