Proposal for new rules on family planning services | News, Sports, Jobs

Senator Judith Schank, D-Berks

A member of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus introduced new legislation regulating family planning services.

Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, introduced Senate Bill 1259, which amends the state’s Health Care Facilities Act to cover all pregnancy-related service providers, which would affect at both abortion providers and pregnancy centers in crisis.

“People seeking family planning support deserve the highest level of care that meets health and safety standards,” Schwank wrote in his legislative memorandum. “This legislation will ensure that there are safeguards and certainties for any organization providing pregnancy-related services by requiring all organizations to comply with healthcare regulations and patient safety provisions. This bill would also ensure that organizations that receive taxpayer money are required to disclose the use of that money in advertising and ensure that the information provided when providing their services is medically accurate.

Schwank also proposes that all health care services, including pregnancy testing, postpartum counseling and support, provided by the nonprofit and its contractors and service providers comply with the nationally recognized standards published by the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All training and program materials from the nonprofit agency and its contractors and service providers should also include the full range of contraceptive options approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Agencies that violate the proposal would not be eligible for state funding or tax incentives.

“With the maternal mortality rate rising in Pennsylvania, it is our responsibility to protect the health outcomes of pregnancy for our constituents,” Schwank wrote. “Antenatal and postpartum services are vitally important to these outcomes and must be subject to strict health and safety requirements by trained professionals. Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation to ensure that all people seeking family planning support, especially our most vulnerable populations, receive the highest quality care from providers funded by the State.

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