Planned Parenthood announces nationwide push for abortion, birth control legislation

Planned Parenthood announces nationwide push for abortion, birth control legislation
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Planned Parenthood on Tuesday announced a nationwide initiative to expand access to abortion, birth control and reproductive health care. 

Planned Parenthood, its affiliates, state lawmakers and other partners will roll out legislation in more than a dozen states this week that it says will expand access to sexual and reproductive care, with a plan to advance initiatives in all 50 states by the end of the year.

Planned Parenthood framed the new push as a rebuttal to the Trump administration's "attacks" on women's health care. 

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“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 Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

"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."

Planned Parenthood and its partners are set to roll out bills they argue would protect birth control coverage, expand access to abortion and make sex education more inclusive. 

The group is pushing for the passage of a bill in Maine that would require all nurse practitioners to provide the abortion pill to patients upon request. And in Missouri, a bill supported by Planned Parenthood would repeal the state's 72-hour waiting period for abortions.

The announcement comes as Planned Parenthood is undergoing a nationwide search to replace outgoing President Cecile Richards, who is stepping down in May after 12 years leading the organization. 

The new initiative also comes amidst a constant funding threat from the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. 

The GOP tried to defund Planned Parenthood through multiple health-care bills last year, but those provisions could not get the support needed to pass. The Trump administration, in its budget proposal released Monday, recommended stripping Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving federal funds. 

Last year, Trump signed a bill reversing an Obama-era rule that blocked states from defunding health care providers for political reasons. 

Specifically, the Obama-era rule required that state and local governments distribute federal family planning money to health providers regardless of whether they also perform abortions. 

The administration last month also rescinded Obama-era guidance that made it harder for states to cut Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs.