Women’s Health Leader Urges Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Pass Patient Trust Act, Calling It ‘Model Women’s Health Legislation’

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“The Patient Trust Act, introduced today by Pennsylvania Representative Dan Frankel with 32 co-sponsors, is model legislation that tells politicians to exit the exam room so women and the people they trust can make their most personal health decisions.

Women’s health is under unprecedented attack all across the country as politicians pass ‘bad medicine’ laws that interfere with the relationship between women and their health care providers and create barriers to women’s access to abortion care. For example, earlier this year, Arkansas and Arizona passed laws requiring physicians to tell women that medication abortion can be reversed, which is baseless junk science. This mandate has been temporarily put on hold in Arizona​ while it is reviewed by the courts. In Missouri, North Carolina and elsewhere, legislatures are mandating increasingly burdensome and medically unnecessary delays for abortion care.   

The Patient Trust Act would help change that in Pennsylvania by ensuring that politicians do not dictate the practice of medicine. It would protect the trust on which the patient-provider relationship is built by putting the medical judgment of health care providers and the needs of patients over ‘bad medicine’ laws that require patients to receive information that is not medically accurate or require providers to withhold medically necessary information that patients need.

​The Patient Trust Act is endorsed by leading Pennsylvania organizations including the Women's Law Project, Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania Advocates, Keystone Progress, New Voices Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, AccessMatters, ACLU of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Pennsylvania Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, CeaseFire PA, Penn Environment, Healthcare for All-Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

The Patient Trust Act would help take politics out of women’s health. We commend Representative Frankel for championing this bill, encourage Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass it without delay, and urge lawmakers in other states to enact similar legislation. It’s past time politicians exit the exam room.”

Read our fact sheet on the PA Patient Trust Act here. For more information on how this bill is part of a proactive effort to get politics out of the exam room, see our newly released brief, Changing the Conversation on Abortion Restrictions: A Proactive Response to Political Interference in Health Care

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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