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Abortion takes center stage in Pa. 2022 elections | Morning Newsletter

And, how Philly’s BIPOC entrepreneurs are raising serious capital.

Good morning, good people. You’re reading The Inquirer Morning Newsletter, catching you up on all the news that’s fit to email. Today we look at how abortion could be a central issue in Pennsylvania’s midterms, check in on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) business start-ups that are hitting their stride since the start of the pandemic, and dig into an update on the Jefferson Hospital shooting.

We’d love to know what you think. Send a reply to this email, and let’s start a conversation.

— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan,

Shortly after Texas’ enactment of the nation’s strictest antiabortion law, followed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene, Pennsylvania Democrats got to work.

Candidates sent alarming emails to supporters that sounded multiple alarms, namely: The future of Roe v. Wade was suddenly unclear, and women’s reproductive rights are under attack.

And abortion could emerge as a key issue in next year’s midterm elections.

The issue could impact races up and down the ballot. Pennsylvania’s next governor would have direct control over state laws (Gov. Tom Wolf recently vetoed three restrictive abortion bills in Pennsylvania). The U.S. Senate could attempt to codify abortion rights at the federal level via the Women’s Health Protection Act. And state judges — including some on the ballot this November — will soon hear a Pennsylvania abortion case over public funding.

“With Governor Wolf’s tenure coming to an end, we realize the only thing stopping us from becoming Texas is the power of the veto pen,” said Signe Espinoza, interim director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania.

Reporter Julia Terruso has the full report.

  1. We surveyed the candidates running in the 2022 midterms, and asked if they’d support a restrictive Texas-style ban in Pennsylvania. Here’s where they stand.

Up until the killing of George Floyd and ensuing protests, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) founders and entrepreneurs started businesses at a high rate but were often starved for capital.

Amid the heightened focus on social equity issues, nearly a dozen new investment funds have launched in the Philadelphia region, aspiring to raise at least $300 million or more for BIPOC business owners.

Among five major East Coast cities, Philadelphia had the lowest number of businesses per 1,000 residents in 2017, according to a report released last year by the Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corp. Philadelphia also had the lowest number of Black-owned firms in relation to Black residents, and large racial disparities in business ownership. Some of the new funds focus heavily on real estate, while others nurture tech start-ups.

So will the promise of this moment turn into a movement? Or will it fizzle and revert to the mean?

Reporter Erin Arvedlund lays out the whole story.

COVID-19 resources

  1. Here’s our latest list of restaurants, large performance venues, universities, and gyms in the Philly region where you need to show proof of vaccination.

  2. Here’s where to get a COVID-19 test in the Philadelphia region.

  3. Should you laminate your vaccination card? What if you lose it? Here are the dos and don’ts.

  4. It could be time to upgrade your face gear. Which masks work best?

What you need to know today

  1. The 55-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting 43-year-old Anrae James at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital early Monday, and then starting a shootout with police after fleeing the scene, will be charged with murder and related crimes. Meanwhile, his motive remains a mystery.

  2. Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell has asked a judge to seal records in his ongoing custody case, and to ban his wife and her attorney from talking publicly about past protection-from-abuse orders against him. Both matters have been the subject of political attacks and media scrutiny.

  3. John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and Bobby Henon’s trial opened with dueling visions of the ties between the labor leader and Philly councilmember. And here’s a handy list of key Philly politicos likely to come up at the trial.

  4. Philadelphia police are investigating an incident captured on a cellphone video in which a white officer is seen mocking and insulting a Black pedestrian and shining a flashlight in his eyes while calling him “boy” and “homie.”

  5. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Tuesday announced 48 criminal charges against Energy Transfer LP for a series of drilling-fluid leaks over years of construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline, the use of unapproved additives to those fluids, and failure to report numerous incidents.

  6. Joseph Bologna, a former Philadelphia police commander who was removed from the force and charged with assault after he was captured on video beating a protester with his baton in spring 2020, has been sued in federal court by a South Jersey woman who alleges he attacked her during a protest.

  7. The delta variant may be loosening its grip on the Philadelphia region, but COVID-19 and the flu pose a dual threat for the upcoming winter season.

  8. A 45-year-old Mount Laurel man, who was charged in July with bias intimidation of his Black neighbors, has been charged with more offenses related to alleged ongoing harassment. Also, four people who showed up at protests outside his house have been charged with allegedly attacking police and damaging property.

  9. And a South Jersey woman was charged with third-degree murder in a crash that killed a volunteer firefighter.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Lovely snapshot of an October day, @bhalda.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

⌛ For AEW’s CM Punk, now one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars, South Philadelphia’s Murphy Recreation Center at Third and Shunk Streets “was the big time” when he started his career in the early 2000s.

🐝 Meet Amelia Mraz and Natasha Pham, the founders of Half Mad Honey, an apiary at the Navy Yard. They use their beehives to help people practice both mindfulness and distress tolerance through apiary therapy.

🤦‍♂️ Ben Simmons listed for sale his home at The Ritz-Carlton Residences of Philadelphia (for $3.1 million). And apparently, he might also sell his Moorestown house (reportedly for $4.9 million). Meanwhile, Tyrese Maxey is focused on getting better at his job (priceless).

📚 A small exhibition at Bryn Mawr College highlights the doodles and comments that mark 15th-century Latin grammars and other medieval books. (And it seems Latin students have always had their doubts about the subject.)

🦅 Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s patience is running out, but just not with his players: mostly with the man in the mirror.


“There’s one thing this experience taught me: Friends don’t ask you if you need help. They just show up. Ida gave us a lot of grief, but I am filled with gratitude. Ida has given us friends for life,” writes Doylestown resident Archana Sharma Upadhyay, who was shocked and heartened by the strangers who saved her family and their home from excessive flooding caused by Hurricane Ida.

  1. The Pandora Papers expose financial corruption in failing states, but columnist Trudy Rubin doesn’t want the details of how the world’s rich hide their assets to distract Americans from similar degrees of corruption in our own United States.

  2. While you’re here: Do you have an opinion of your own? Read up on how to submit your point of view to the opinion editors.

What we're reading

  1. So that guy in Florida who corralled an alligator with a trash can? He’s from North Philly. (Because of course, he is.) PhillyMag scored an interview with Eugene Bozzi and discussed, among other things, his time working as a SEPTA bus driver.

  2. The accelerating climate crisis makes nuclear fusion’s elusiveness even more maddening: Solar energy and wind power rely too much on gas power plants; conventional nuclear power has too many disadvantages, and carbon capture hasn’t been mastered. All these tools figure extensively in decarbonization plans, but according to those plans, even when combined with one another the tools are insufficient. So that leaves us with fusion, writes the New Yorker, which is either the great clean-energy dream — or, a pipe dream.

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