women's health

Nati Harnik / AP

The Senate on Monday rejected legislation designed to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a vote that put vulnerable Democrats on the record on the issue during an election year.

The vote was 51-46, short of the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill. Three Democratic-senators up for re-election in conservative states voted to advance the legislation: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with most Democrats to reject it.

Jessica Spengler / flickr

Hearst Magazines plans to lay off 145 employees at the Pennsylvania publisher that owns Men's Health and Runner's World.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has issued a temporary injunction that bars the Trump administration from letting health care providers deny women coverage for contraceptives.

Now, the state Attorney General says the next steps are up to the federal government.

In October, Trump rolled back an Obama Administration policy requiring employers cover birth control prescriptions for free—calling it a “substantial religious burden.”

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Democratic governor has vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature to limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, rejecting what Planned Parenthood says would have been the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the veto paperwork Monday in Philadelphia City Hall.

Pennsylvania's current limit is 24 weeks. The 20-week limit would have kept in place exceptions under current law for when a mother's life or well-being is at risk. It had no exceptions for rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.

Andrew Russell / Tribune-Review

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the beleaguered Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Courtesy of UPMC

Ann Kozak, 15, peered at a three-dimensional printed model of the female reproductive system. Learning about career options in women's health was a great experience, she said.

The Office of Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

The Pittsburgh-based Magee-Womens Research Institute is planning to offer a $1 million prize for innovative research into women's health when it holds its inaugural summit next October at the city's David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Activists across Pennsylvania planned protests Monday to express their disapproval of the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to appeal the Affordable Care Act.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

UPDATE: Dec. 13, 2017:

This week, the state legislature approved a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The current law allows abortions up to 24 weeks. Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to veto the bill and legislators likely don't have enough votes to override his veto

Pennsylvania Senate OKs 20-Week Abortion Ban; Veto Awaits

Feb 8, 2017
Nati Harnik / AP

After an emotionally charged and graphic debate, the state Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to ban abortions at 20 weeks and restrict how the vast majority of second-trimester abortions are performed.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Ride-sharing service Uber announced Tuesday it will fund all rides for women to the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. 

Free rides will also be provided to legal, medical and other appointments for those staying in the shelter through the $10,000 donation from Uber.  

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

 


Gynecologist Colleen Krajewski tells anyone who will listen -- intrauterine devices are "the Cadillac of birth control right now.”

Quinn Dombrowski / flickr

Allegheny Health Network hopes to fill a gap in coverage for new moms with an Intensive Outpatient Program. Clinical psychologist Rebecca Weinberg said treatment for mothers suffering from pregnancy-related depression often jumps between regular outpatient care and expensive in-patient care.

A new three-hour intensive outpatient program at Western Pennsylvania Hospital three days a week will offer intensive group therapy, medication management and allow women to bring their babies with them.

Charlotte Cooper / flickr

Reproductive health advocates around the region are reacting to last week’s legislative action in Ohio that would ban abortion at six weeks gestation, well before many women know they are pregnant. Gov. John Kasich now has 10 days to act on the “heartbeat law.”

Carolyn Kaster / AP

 

Planned Parenthood says it added more than 800 volunteers in Pennsylvania since Donald Trump won the presidential election three weeks ago.

The organization says it usually gets about 20 to 25 new volunteers in a month.

"The outpouring of support that we've seen over the last two weeks is like nothing I have seen in my 12-and-a-half years with Planned Parenthood. It is unprecedented," said Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Executive Director Sari Stevens.

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania / Facebook

When the groundwork was laid for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania in 1916, it was illegal to obtain or distribute any kind of contraceptive. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was starting her clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a few dozen Pittsburgh residents were also looking for ways to improve health care for women. A century later, PPWP still faces the near-constant threat of de-funding, but boasts the second-highest volunteer base in the country.

Buried in the fine print of many marketplace health plan documents is language that allows them to refuse to cover a range of services that are used more often by women, a study finds.

It's unclear if these exclusions have prevented patients from getting needed treatments. An insurance industry representative says patients are generally able to get care if it's appropriate for them. Yet some women with a family history of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, for instance, may have gaps in care because of the exclusions.

Abortion is one of the more common procedures performed in the U.S., more common even than appendectomy. But as clinics in Texas close, finding a place in the state where medical residents training to be OB-GYNs can learn to do abortions is getting harder.

Looking Out Foundation

Mona McDonald had no idea how to protect herself.

“There was a certain amount of fear that a lot of women experience just walking around in your everyday life,” she said, recalling herself in the mid-1970s. “You absolutely don’t know how to handle yourself if someone were to approach you, confront you or physically attack you.”

Elizabeth Thomsen / via Flickr Creative Commons

Economic issues are central to women’s health, according to Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus, which on Monday announced its 2015-2016 Agenda for Women’s Health.

The bi-partisan, bi-cameral group has four main goals goals: creating family-friend working conditions, promoting economic fairness, enhancing healthy lives and raising awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault.

In the state of Pennsylvania, it’s technically legal for employers to refuse pregnant workers accommodations like a place to sit, access to water and more frequent breaks.

State lawmakers in March attempted to change that by introducing a bill to require such accommodations, but that bill has languished in the Senate Labor and Industry committee ever since.

Now, city of Pittsburgh lawmakers are moving to codify such protections for pregnant city workers.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to support of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus’s package of state legislative measures meant to improve women’s health, economic status and well-being.

“We are not talking about one issue. This isn’t just about reproductive rights. This is not just about equal pay,” said Councilman Dan Gilman, who introduced the Will of Council resolution. “This is about moving an agenda for Pennsylvania’s women forward, treating them as whole people, people who should be living longer, healthier, strong economic lives.”