PA lawmaker says it’s important to share stories about reproductive healthcare

State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti speaking at an abortion rights rally at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on June 26, 2022. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

February 2, 2024

“Whether it’s a personal story or it’s a friend, everybody is connected to these issues in some way and are seeing these problems in some way. The more we connect on a more personal level, the easier it becomes to have dialogue about why this policy over that policy,” State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti said in an interview. 

State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Montgomery) opened up about her miscarriages and struggles becoming a mother following a recent reproductive rights roundtable discussion in Harrisburg with Gov. Josh Shapiro and state and national Planned Parenthood leaders

“Storytelling humanizes people,” Cappelletti said in an interview with The Keystone last week. 

“From a very personal perspective, I was new to the legislature. I am a fairly progressive legislator, and some of my colleagues in the Republican caucus hadn’t taken the time to get to know me until, I believe it was probably October, 2021 that I shared with them that I had experienced two miscarriages on my journey to motherhood.”

Cappelletti explained how sharing her story about her two miscarriages with her Republican colleagues changed her relationships with them. 

“From that moment I was able to make connections with some of my colleagues across the aisle. It humanized who I am and what I stand for, and the hope is as people share their stories and why Planned Parenthood is important to them, why abortion access is important to them … it helps humanize what is going on and helps create the recognition that Planned Parenthood provides medical care to real people,” Cappelletti said. 

Cappelletti first opened up about her two miscarriages during a debate when Senate Republicans were trying to pass an abortion ban in 2022. She used her experiences to advocate for abortion care, which can be crucial lifesaving care for someone experiencing a miscarriage.   

Last March, Cappelletti became the first state senator in Pennsylvania history to give birth to a child while serving in office and at the time she shared the importance of being open about her struggles. 

“Whether it’s a personal story or it’s a friend, everybody is connected to these issues in some way and are seeing these problems in some way. The more we connect on a more personal level, the easier it becomes to have dialogue about why this policy over that policy,” she said. 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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