In 2019, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund (PPAF), PPLM’s political arm, doubled down on efforts to protect and defend access to sexual and reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion, in the face of renewed national attacks. The Advocacy Fund’s bold and innovative campaigns serve as a model for other regions fighting unjust restrictions on reproductive rights.
Defending Access to Care
PPAF led the way in responding to the Trump-Pence administration’s dangerous domestic gag rule that forces providers to make an impossible choice: offer their patients complete, accurate information about all their pregnancy options, including abortion, or provide their patients affordable preventive reproductive health care through Title X. This unethical rule effectively dismantles Title X, the nation’s only program for affordable preventive reproductive health care like birth control and cancer screenings, as part of a broader agenda to push safe, legal abortion out of reach. Even before the rule was enacted, the Advocacy Fund worked with Massachusetts’ elected leaders to pass a supplemental budget protecting access to care for the 75,000 Massachusetts residents who rely on the Title X program.
Safe, Legal, and Accessible
As hostility toward reproductive rights intensified on the national level, PPAF took action to address persisting policy barriers to abortion here in Massachusetts. Given the right to safe and legal abortion means little to those who can’t exercise that right, PPAF launched a multilayered campaign to pass An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access. Known as the ROE Act, this new legislative measure seeks to dismantle harmful barriers that delay and deny abortion care. PPAF has built an active and diverse coalition of more than 75 advocacy, grassroots, legal, and medical organizations who support the ROE Act. At a June legislative hearing, the ROE Act Coalition prepared patients, physicians, and legal advocates to deliver powerful testimony supporting the bill. Now, the campaign’s momentum continues to grow as the legislative session moves into its second year.
Organizing for the Future
PPAF mentored and collaborated with students in its Campus Organizing Program, empowering them to effect positive change on their campuses by creating reproductive rights advocacy opportunities and improving access to resources for their peers. At Brandeis University, students launched a successful campaign to install a health and wellness vending machine in the student center, increasing students’ confidential access to condoms, menstrual supplies, pregnancy tests, and Plan B medication 24 hours a day. In communities across the state, PPAF expanded its network of volunteers, launching a local chapter of the national Planned Parenthood Raíz program and establishing four Leadership Action Councils. From engaging new members in the LatinX communities to deepening its investment in volunteer leaders, PPAF is maximizing its impact through volunteer-driven initiatives.
“My last patient who was forced to go to court [because of the parental consent law] was in foster care. “This young woman had to take additional time off from school, obtain a lawyer, find funds and transportation, and navigate the court system before she could obtain her abortion.”
- Dr. Luu Ireland, Central Massachusetts OB-GYN, at the State House
“Today’s students want accurate information, strong community, and practical resources, and we’re here to support them – no matter what.”
- Kate Gannon, PPAF Advocacy Coordinator
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