The coronavirus pandemic seems to have come on slowly then all at once. We hope that you and yours are safe and healthy while complying with orders to physically distance and stay at home.
We closed our physical offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh but we are working overtime to protect your rights, health, and economic security amid coronavirus while continuing with the litigation, policy advocacy, and community education we were focused on before the pandemic.
Foremost on our minds is the way this public health emergency highlights the fragile nature of society and how dependent our health, safety, and well-being are on our neighbors. It is revealing for many what advocates like us have known a long time: We are only as protected and safe as the most vulnerable person in our society.
No matter what kind of health insurance or how big a bank account, your health is linked to the health and well-being of others, including people who do not have access to basic healthcare, labor protections, and economic security.
Since 1974, we have been building the relationships and expertise necessary to nimbly and rapidly respond to the shifting needs of our clients and the people of Pennsylvania. We have always worked at the intersections of healthcare access, economic security, workplace justice, and personal safety.
We will continue to be here for you throughout this crisis.
Right now we are:
- Analyzing the recently introduced and adopted federal legislation promising to expand worker protections amid coronavirus and considering the need for local and state legislation to fill the gaps.
- Organizing and amplifying local and state emergency advocacy efforts in partnership with our amazing public interest community, such as last night’s virtual townhall and worker speak-out in Philadelphia, organized by the Coalition to Respect Every Worker.
- Working with authorities to ensure continuity of access to abortion care, because abortion is essential healthcare. Currently, every abortion provider in Pennsylvania is serving patients, despite a coordinated “pro-life” effort to leverage the pandemic crisis to sever reproductive access for lower-income Americans.
- Working with court personnel to ensure that judicial bypass hearings remain accessible expeditiously and confidentially, as required by the Abortion Control Act and the state and federal constitutions, and that court protocols prioritize public safety and minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. (If you need legal information or assistance related to judicial bypass, call us and leave a message at 412-281-3048. Spanish-speaking support is available.)
- Tracking anti-abortion bills promoted by state lawmakers seeking to exploit the pandemic to attack the reproductive rights of Pennsylvanians.
- Creating know-your-rights guides with our colleagues, such as this guide to obtaining emergency and temporary Protection From Abuse orders in Philadelphia while courts are closed.
- Representing pregnancy discrimination clients.
Please note our in-house Telephone Counseling & Referral Service is OPEN.
The Women’s Law Project’s in-house Telephone Counseling & Referral Service provides callers free information and guidance on many issues, including requests related to reproductive health, paid leave, domestic and sexual violence, sexual harassment, and sex and gender discrimination in schools, the workplace, and other institutions.
We help people who contact us to prioritize their concerns and point them toward what resources are currently available.
During this emergency, we are sharpening our focus to address needs related to domestic violence, with particular focus on the challenges faced by victims who are isolated with abusers. We are working with other advocates to assure that victims know how to get temporary protection orders while the courts are closed. We are also assisting callers with urgent needs relating to the sudden loss of income.
You can reach us calling 215-928-9801, X 5760 and leaving a message. You can also complete this online form to request a callback.
We will get through this harrowing time together. We appreciate your support now more than ever.
The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.
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