The Pennsylvania Senator makes history in the Commonwealth
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Women have given birth to children since the beginning of time, but one woman from suburban Philadelphia who happens to be a Senator is weeks away from making Pennsylvania history.
“I’m State Senator Amanda Cappelletti, representing the 17th District, Delaware and Montgomery counties,” said Amanda Cappelletti.
Pennsylvania has had state senators since 1791, but there has never been such a state senator.
Cappelletti, the first pregnant senator in Pennsylvania history, is scheduled to give birth on March 16.
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“I mean that in the best possible way, there aren’t many firsts left for people like me, a white straight cis woman. It feels strange that this will somehow still exist in 2023,” said Cappelletti.
Cappelletti says there are still strange reactions, however.
“Comments were made, ‘Are you going to stand for re-election again?’ or ‘How do you run for re-election with a baby?’” Cappelletti said. “It was just quite amazing because men aren’t asked those questions.”
Cappelletti and her husband are eagerly awaiting parenthood after twice suffering the heartache of miscarriage.
“I joined a club that nobody wants to join. It feels lonely and isolating at first,” Cappelletti said. “I want people out there who are struggling with this issue to know that they are not alone. There is someone in the Legislature who has had a similar experience and thinks about it when writing policy.”
Policies such as paid time off for parents to mourn a miscarriage or paid time off for parents to bond with their babies.
State Rep. Jarred Solomon, a new father, says parent-centric policies are needed for everyone, not just politicians.
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“How do you strengthen the nuclear family when Mom and Dad are only concerned with putting the next meal on the table, paying next month’s rent and managing the stresses and strains of life?” They need that time and we could work this out together,” Solomon said.
Cappelletti also has progressive views on healthcare in the United States.
“Abortion is healthcare,” Cappelletti said.
Cappelletti is also aware that she often irritates the conservative Republicans who run the chamber.
“Electoral identification laws like these are well-known tactics that suppress votes,” Cappelletti said in a video.
At the same time, Cappelletti is grateful for the kindness of her fellow Republicans, which included a baby shower and genuine promises to help her in any way she needs.
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“We jokingly say this is the bipartisan baby,” Cappelletti said. “It’s nice to find that humanizing aspect where I now feel like we can talk and find compromises that aren’t just about the mentality of the progressive Democrats versus the conservative Republicans.”
While Cappelletti’s policies aren’t universally accepted in the Senate, her daughter will be.
“There will definitely be days when I make her meet everyone. Both sides are excited, I have staff who are very excited, like I said, everyone loves a baby,” Cappelletti said.
https://www.abc27.com/local-news/pennsylvania-senator-is-making-history-in-the-commonwealth/ The Pennsylvania Senator makes history in the Commonwealth