Reproductive Rights

AAUW trusts that everyone women can make their own informed choices about their reproductive lives within the dictates of their own moral and religious beliefs. Further, we believe that these deeply personal decisions should be made without government interference.
Family planning fosters self-sufficiency, promotes preventive health care, and teaches people how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With many schools exclusively providing abstinence-only sex education and contraceptive care historically expensive to access, however, Americans’ reproductive health has suffered. For instance, half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and the U.S. continues to have one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the industrialized world.

Access to family planning and a full range of reproductive health services enhances an individual’s reproductive choices—which leads to improvements in women’s health care and economic security. The ability to control when to start a family has been linked to significant increases in women’s wages and increased likelihood of educational attainment. Unfortunately, lawmakers have severely limited peoples’ fundamental power to control their own reproductive lives.


Pennsylvania Reproductive Rights after Dobbs

The Pennsylvania Reproductive Rights after Dobbs program ran in August 2022 with presenters Sue Frietsche, Co-Director of the Women’s Law Project, and Dr. Sarah Horvath, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Keystone.  We are indebted to the Women’s Law Center for becoming a watchdog on legislation in this area. The presenters described the current state of abortion rights in Pennsylvania, since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision in June, what we are looking at over the near future and already seeing on the medical frontline as providers, patients and those helping them are impacted. The stress on the provider network in our state, the popular doubt and confusion sowed by Dobbs, the stigma of care, and health disparities are among the critical issues addressed in this extensive discussion.


Branch Takes Action

In November 2022, many branch members signed SB106, the anti-abortion constitutional amendment.

In January 2023 we held a “watch party” to view the Pennsylvania Reproductive Rights after Dobbs and learn more about the issues from branch program facilitators, Anne Ard, the retired director of CentreSafe (formerly the Centre County Women’s Resource Center), and Carline Crevecoeur (a retired obstetrician and gynecologist).

Following the lead of the Women’s Law Project, we will continue to learn and take action on this vital topic.