Opinion: Reproductive choice and other freedoms are at stake in 2024

By Amy Widestrom

February 14, 2024

Reproductive Choice and Other Freedoms are at Stake in 2024.

On January 29th, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court signaled a willingness to protect reproductive choice by ruling that a lower court must reconsider a case that will determine Medicaid coverage of abortion. Crucially, a majority of justices argued that the Pennsylvania Constitution provides strong protection against sex-based discrimination. 

This landmark victory, hailed by reproductive choice advocates and Planned Parenthood representatives, instills hope for increased protection of reproductive healthcare and abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision (2022).

The League of Women Voters of PA applauds the Court’s decision. We urge voters and lawmakers to sustain this momentum by actively advocating for and supporting measures to protect access to reproductive healthcare for all Pennsylvanians, the majority of whom research shows support legal access to abortion.

The League urges legislators to show their support for state-level bills that enhance reproductive healthcare choices, such as HB1888 proposing an amendment to the PA Constitution protecting reproductive liberty. 

Additionally, we call for nationwide acts safeguarding women and other vulnerable populations, such as the long-awaited Equal Rights Amendment. As elected officials chosen by Pennsylvanians we need you to take actions that drive meaningful change.

Pennsylvania citizens must also act to protect reproductive healthcare and choice in the Commonwealth. Contact your State Representative, urging support of HB1888, or reach out to your US Senator to advocate for federal legislation protecting bodily autonomy. Stay informed on legislative actions by subscribing to alerts from the League of Women Voters of PA or other good-government organizations to stay up-to-date on current legislative actions.

Most importantly, make your voice heard this election season: vote. Use Vote411 to understand each candidate’s stance on important issues. Exercise your power to elect candidates aligned with your values. Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date, and vote in the primary and general elections. Your voice matters for shaping our present and our future.

Author

  • Amy Widestrom

    Amy Widestrom, PhD-LWVPA Executive Director: Amy holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University. She has also been the recipient of several awards, including the 2016 American Political Science Association’s Clarence Stone Scholar Award, a Brookings Institution Research Fellowship, and an American Political Association Congressional Fellowship in 2008-09, when she worked for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as the nation worked to recover from the 2008 economic crisis. Before joining the League, Amy was a faculty member at Arcadia University and head of the Political Science Department.

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