Calling it an “overreach” of the state’s power and a “new frontier,” three female members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are blasting recently passed legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from offering policies that cover abortion services in the soon-to-be-launched Pennsylvania health exchange.
Reps. Erin Molchany (D-Allegheny), Madeline Dean (D-Montgomery) and Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) said the solution might lie in the next election cycle.
“Women don’t have the representation that they deserve within this chamber,” said Molchany, who noted women hold only 18 percent of the seats in the House. “While we are surprised that there were Democrats that voted (for) this legislation, it's more shocking that there aren’t more women here to defend it.”
The bill passed the House on a 144-53 vote and the Senate by a 31-19. The lower chamber holds 92 Democrats and there are 23 Democrats in the upper chamber. Gov. Tom Corbett's office announced he signed the bill Monday.
“Then there’s always the political side of it to ensure that we elect more women, that we elect a different governor next year and change the story,” Daley said.
In the meantime, the lawmakers said they will push for the governor to opt into the federal Medicaid expansion and fully fund other human service needs in the state. Dean said those efforts will help to ensure the reproductive health of women across the state.