Planned Parenthood launches ‘sweeping’ initiative to pass pro-abortion laws in every state
WASHINGTON, February 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood is going on the offensive with a “sweeping” new initiative to pass more pro-abortion laws in all 50 states.
The Trump administration provided the impetus behind this initiative, the abortion company announced at a Tuesday press conference.
“The Trump-Pence administration has been attacking our patients’ fundamental rights and access to health care, emboldening state politicians to follow its reckless lead,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Laguens will soon be the public face of Planned Parenthood as the organization searches for a new president. Its current president, Cecile Richards, is resigning in May.
“Today, we’re going on the offense. We’ve been marching, mobilizing, and organizing — and now we’re channeling that into real policy change,” said Laguens. “No matter what Trump and Pence say, your body is your own. If it is not, you cannot be truly free or equal.”
In April 2017, Trump signed a law allowing states to defund Planned Planned. And in January, the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era warning to states that they could not deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood on the grounds it is an abortion provider.
Laguens announced that Planned Parenthood and its partners 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.”
This week’s initiatives include rolling out “protections for birth control coverage, bills that expand access to abortion, and changes to make sex education more inclusive” in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
That includes backing a bill in Maine requiring nurse practitioners to provide the abortion pill on request, and one in Missouri to repeal the state's 72-hour waiting period for abortions, Laguens said.
Planned Parenthood is also anticipating a victory in California on SB320, a bill compelling public universities to provide the abortion pill on campus.
The California senate passed SB320 January 30. It has now moved to the assembly, which is expected to vote on it in April. The California Family Council is urging Californians to contact their state representatives to oppose the bill.
Planned Parenthood aborted 321,384 babies during its 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to its annual report.
Its state-by-state legislative offensive is a response to an increase in 2017 of pro-life victories on the state level, according to the Daily Caller.
A January 2 report from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found 19 states had adopted 63 new abortion restrictions in 2017, the largest number passed in one year since 2013.
There have been a total of 410 abortion restrictions adopted by states since 2011, Guttmacher stated.
On the other hand, “21 states adopted 58 new proactive measures” in 2017 to “expand access to abortion, contraception, other reproductive health services and comprehensive sex education or to protect reproductive rights,” Guttmacher reported.
Elisabeth Nash, the Guttmacher Institute senior state issues manager, told The Hill that 89 bills supporting abortion “rights” have been introduced in 25 state legislatures so far this year.
“The bills are a reaction to all of the abortion restrictions that have been moving, but also it is a reflection of the fact that there is a lot more energy around progressive causes such as abortion rights,” Nash said. “We’re seeing pushback against social conservatives right now.”
Americans United for Life’s Steve Aden has warned that pro-life legislators across America are having to battle an “increasingly corporate abortion industry, that is determined to put their profit margins before the health and safety of women and children.”
Americans United for Life’s Life List for 2018 put Arizona as the top pro-life state, “closely followed by Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas” with Texas and Alabama making “notable gains.”
One notable state victory was Mississippi’s House Bill 1501 banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old, which the state house passed February 2. If the bill passes the Senate and the governor signs it, Mississippi would be the state with the most pro-life laws.