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Tom Wolf: I’ll veto SB3 and fight for women’s rights

Some members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly seem to have missed the message that women’s rights are human rights. Instead of listening to women, doctors, and the Supreme Court, they are rushing to vote on SB3, the most extreme anti-choice bill in the country.

Just two weeks ago, millions of Americans took part in one of the largest protests in history to stand up for women’s rights — including tens of thousands right here in Pennsylvania.

But some members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly seem to have missed the message that women’s rights are human rights. Instead of listening to women, doctors, and the Supreme Court, they are rushing to vote on SB3, the most extreme anti-choice bill in the country.

If this unconstitutional, extreme legislation passes and lands on my desk, I will veto it.

I’m proud to stand with women and their families for access to reproductive healthcare — chip in $3 or more before Monday’s vote to show Harrisburg you’re standing with me to protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose.

SB3 would prevent doctors from informing patients about all their health care options and force women to carry a pregnancy to term with no chance of survival — and it even prohibits a woman’s right to have an abortion in the case of rape or incest.

We’ve already seen what happens when extreme politicians deny women their rights and put their health in jeopardy. Before the Supreme Court struck down HB2 in Texas, dozens of women’s health clinics closed — forcing many to drive 70 miles or more to see a doctor. The average wait time for an appointment went from five days to 23 days. A woman was forced to deliver a stillborn baby because of extreme legislation has that no basis in medicine.

But the sponsors of this bill want to ignore all that to serve extreme special interests instead of Pennsylvania women and families. They won’t even hold hearings before voting on Monday.

We need to work together and show these extreme members that we’ll never stop fighting for women’s rights –chip in before Monday’s vote.

Thank you.

Trump’s order is harming Pennsylvania families

This past weekend, I joined Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Bob Brady, Congressman Dwight Evans, and thousands of protesters at Philadelphia International Airport to voice my opposition to the ban. After hearing about how Dr. Assali’s family members were sent back, I met with his family and held a press conference with them so the world could hear their story.

William Penn arrived here on a ship called the “Welcome” and established a colony with the values of tolerance and inclusion as the keystones to its foundation. He envisioned this land as a place where families of all faiths could come to create a better future for their children.

And the United States, established by the signing of the constitution here in Pennsylvania, was set up as a country where people could escape oppression.

So when members of Dr. Ghassan Assali and Sarmad Assali’s family were denied entry at Philadelphia International Airport because of President Donald Trump’s ban affecting green card holders, refugees, and visitors from certain Muslim-majority countries, I was outraged.

One of Mrs. Assali’s brothers is a 25-year veteran of the United States Army. He fought in Desert Storm. Dr. Assali’s brother, sister-in-law, and four other family members worked for an immigration visa for 13 years, and they had finally completed the long journey from Syria. Dr. Assali and his wife remodeled a house for the six relatives to move into Saturday, and had been planning a big dinner for the family in Allentown.

But on Saturday, President Trump’s illegal travel ban caused the six of them to be sent back on 18-hour flight. Ghassan and Sarmad have done great things in Allentown for Pennsylvania and I think it’s a dark day for all of us that their family was treated this way by our government.

If you’re with me, stand up for the values upon which Pennsylvania and our country were founded — sign the petition to overturn President Trump’s order, and fight for families like the Assalis.

This past weekend, I joined Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Bob Brady, Congressman Dwight Evans, and thousands of protesters at Philadelphia International Airport to voice my opposition to the ban. After hearing about how Dr. Assali’s family members were sent back, I met with his family and held a press conference with them so the world could hear their story.

Since then, I’ve worked with Attorney General Josh Shapiro to fight for the Assali family and any Pennsylvania families who may be affected. Attorney General Shapiro has since gotten 16 other attorneys general from states across the country to sign on to a letter questioning the constitutionality of what the president did. I applaud Attorney General Shapiro and his fellow attorneys general.

While civil rights lawyers around the country have already won victories in federal court overturning or staying parts of President Trump’s order, this fight isn’t over. Too many still face the risk of being denied entry simply because of their nationality and religion.

We must reclaim our Pennsylvanian and American values — and to do that, I need to you standing with me to oppose President Trump’s order. Add your name to the petition

Thank you.

Tom Wolf: Here’s my letter to Speaker Ryan on the ACA

We cannot afford to repeal healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians or make cuts to Medicaid — especially in the wake of this public health crisis that affects so many of our friends, family members, and neighbors.

Today, President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, and the entire Republican congressional caucus are in Philadelphia to plan legislative priorities for the 116th United States Congress.

At the top of their agenda is repealing the Affordable Care Act, including the repeal of Medicaid expansion — which nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians rely on for healthcare. In addition, 63,000 people suffering from addiction accessed drug and alcohol treatment through Medicaid. Even funding for vital treatment options in the fight against the heroin and opioid crisis isn’t safe under Trump’s plan.

I have met with people who received coverage for the first time under the Affordable Care Act and heard what it meant to them to not have to choose between insurance or paying the heating bill. I’ve held in my own arms a newborn baby suffering from heroin withdrawal. I’ve consoled daughters and sons who have lost a parent to a drug overdose. And I’ve seen the happiness of families reunited and moving forward after a loved one has completed treatment.

We cannot afford to repeal healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians or make cuts to Medicaid — especially in the wake of this public health crisis that affects so many of our friends, family members, and neighbors.

While President Trump, Speaker Ryan, and their Republican colleagues are in Philadelphia, please take a moment to make your voice heard by signing the petition to save the Affordable Care Act.

In 2015, more than 3,500 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to the disease of addiction. In the past year, I’ve gone to more than 30 roundtables and dozens of visits to treatment centers to meet with those who are affected by this epidemic. That’s why I invited Speaker Ryan to visit one of the centers that provides drug abuse treatment options funded through Medicaid and see firsthand how the program saves lives.

My greatest fear is that repealing the Affordable Care Act will cause too many Pennsylvania families to lose coverage and that cuts to Medicaid will cut off access to crucial treatment options that are helping us fight the opioid and heroin epidemic.

People will die as a result. This is not hyperbole — access to treatment through Medicaid is keeping Pennsylvanians alive who might otherwise face overdoses or worse.

President Trump and Speaker Ryan say they want to help Americans who struggle to afford healthcare and they talk tough about fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic, but these problems require more than just rhetoric — they need bipartisan solutions.

So, help me send this urgent message to protect access to healthcare and drug treatment to fight the opioid epidemic — add your name to the petition.

Here’s a copy of the letter I sent to Speaker Paul Ryan inviting him to join me at a treatment center in Pennsylvania:

Frances Wolf: Women’s Rights are Human Rights

The Women’s Marches across Pennsylvania, the country, and the world were an incredible show of solidarity and democratic activism. Together, millions of people stood up for our nation’s founding promise of justice and equality for all.

The Women’s Marches across Pennsylvania, the country, and the world were an incredible show of solidarity and democratic activism. Together, millions of people stood up for our nation’s founding promise of justice and equality for all.

My husband has been standing up for women’s rights for as long as I’ve known him. We’ve volunteered together at Planned Parenthood, and we’ve seen the difficult decisions many women have to make in consultation with their doctor.

Unfortunately, there are powerful people and extreme special interest groups that don’t see women’s rights as human rights.

In Washington, President Donald Trump has already signed executive orders making it the official White House policy to repeal the Affordable Care Act and limit access to reproductive healthcare and information. And here in Pennsylvania, extreme politicians in Harrisburg continue to push for legislation to criminalize a woman’s constitutional right to make her own medical decisions and defund Planned Parenthood.

So, we’ll need you to keep up the fight. A quick way you can show your support for women across Pennsylvania is to add your name to the petition for women’s rights, healthcare, and equality.

But there are lots of other ways to get involved and turn the spirit of Saturday’s marches into continued action — here are a few:

  1. Call your representatives and speak out about women’s rights, healthcare, and the Affordable Care Act — or whatever issues are important to you.
  2. Volunteer with or donate to Planned Parenthood.
  3. Join your local county Democratic Party organization.
  4. Run for office yourself — and if you’re under 35, check out RunForSomething.net.
  5. Forward this email to a few friends and encourage them to add their name to the petition or take any of the actions above.

It’s vital to our democracy for us to not only keep the energy and excitement from the Women’s Marches alive but also to encourage as many as possible to take the next step in their involvement in this movement.

Tom and I can’t wait to see what you all do next.

Thank you.