Planned Parenthood, State Advocates, and Partners Announce Policies in More Than A Dozen States This Week Alone — and Plans to Advance Initiatives in All 50 States
Washington, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood, in conjunction with state lawmakers, advocates, and fellow advocacy groups, unveiled a sweeping plan to push initiatives that expand access to reproductive health care in all 50 states. The push kicks off today, with the announcement that more than a dozen states this week are moving legislation that would expand access to abortion, birth control, and other reproductive health care.
It’s no coincidence that this initiative comes at a time when a historic grassroots movement for women’s rights growing across the country, and when more women than ever before have been elected into state legislatures. Over the past year, millions of women have marched in the streets, called their legislators, and flooded town halls to demand that their elected officials protect access to reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood has gained 1.5 million new supporters since January 2017 alone — with a total 11 million supporters.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Today, we’re going on the offense. We’ve been marching, mobilizing, and organizing — and now we’re channeling that into real policy change. The Trump-Pence administration has been attacking our patients’ fundamental rights and access to health care, emboldening state politicians to follow its reckless lead. We need to do more than just fight against the bad policies — now is the time to push for good ones. We’ve already seen the power of the historic grassroots movement that’s growing nationwide. It defeated bad health care repeal bills three times in Congress, and helped to keep Planned Parenthood’s doors open. Now, together with our partners, we are moving forward to fight for people’s health and rights, state by state, bill by bill. We’re starting with more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia this week alone, and we’re pushing for efforts in all 50 states. Everyone deserves the freedom and opportunity to control their lives at the most basic level, including access to birth control, quality sex education, and safe, legal abortion. No matter what Trump and Pence say, your body is your own. If it is not, you cannot be truly free or equal.
This week alone, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates and partners are rolling out legislation in more than a dozen states to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care — and we are pushing for positive initiatives to come in all 50 states. This week’s push includes policies advancing in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. These policies include protections for birth control coverage, bills that expand access to abortion, and changes to make sex education more inclusive.
Over the past year, the Trump-Pence administration has pushed policies meant to strip Americans of their basic rights to control their bodies and lives — and it has pushed state politicians to further attack people’s rights and access to health care. The administration has allowed employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees, cut teen pregnancy prevention programs, tried to block care at Planned Parenthood, and stacked the courts with anti-abortion judges. These policies are hardest on communities of color, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community who have been historically discriminated against, and as a result have worse access to reproductive health care — and worse health outcomes. This is a result of systemic barriers that can make it difficult, or nearly impossible, to access health care, including poverty, lack of transportation, lack of paid sick leave, lack of childcare, lack of insurance, the risk of detention and deportation, and a historical distrust of the medical community.
Today, Planned Parenthood held a press call announcing this sweeping policy initiative. On the call was Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Rep. Edith Ajello, Rhode Island; Christine Sadovy, Political and Legislative Director for Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey; and Mauricio Calvo, Executive Director of Latino Memphis. Please find speakers’ prepared remarks here.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.