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Today, Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) applauded President Biden’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services including expanding access to contraceptives and safeguarding privacy. This Executive Order comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 50 years of a constitutional right to an abortion, which immediately impacted much of the region PPGP serves. 

Swiftly following the Supreme Court’s decision, “trigger laws” went into effect banning abortion almost instantly across 13 states, including Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma – three of the four states in the PPGP service area. PPGP immediately stopped abortion care in Arkansas. In May, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to ban abortion entirely. PPGP did not provide abortion services in its Missouri clinics. 

“Today the President reaffirmed what we have always known to be true: reproductive health care including abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “These past few weeks have shed light on the worry, fear, and confusion many are facing, having had their rights taken away overnight. Patients have asked why they now have fewer rights than people living in other states throughout the country. Elected officials from every level of government should safeguard the ability to access care and combat misinformation about contraception and life-saving treatments for patients with ectopic and other pregnancy complications. While patients can no longer access abortion care in three of the four states we serve, Planned Parenthood Great Plains doors remain open for other services, and we continue to deliver compassionate care to all.”  

Anticipating the end to a constitutional right to safe, legal abortion, while facing state-by-state bans that worsen structural racism and disproportionally harm low-income and rural communities, PPGP recently established the Center for Abortion and Reproductive Equity (CARE). This initiative brings together PPGP’s expertise in lowering barriers to comprehensive care, with a commitment to addressing the structural challenges faced by marginalized communities in accessing health care.

CARE will help patients navigate a regional network of abortion providers and mental health, social work, and community-based organizations who can provide follow-up support and advocacy opportunities for patients in the places they call home.