Planned Parenthood's new chief: 'We're not political by nature, but we've been politicized'
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Planned Parenthood's new president said Tuesday that the organization has been “politicized” by abortion opponents and that it is first and foremost a health group.

“We are primarily a health care provider. We provide access to sexual and reproductive health, in some cases primary care,” Alexis McGill Johnson told CBS News in her first interview since becoming head of Planned Parenthood.


“We’re not political by nature, but we’ve been politicized, and that fight has actually been our focus, to ensure that our health centers stay open,” she added.

State legislatures this year have introduced more than 300 bills seeking to restrict abortion bans, according to CBS. States such as Kentucky and Georgia passed “heartbeat bans,” which would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Johnson noted in the interview that 77 percent of Americans said the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion. The polling figures were from an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll conducted last month.

“I understand the moral concerns that people may have with respect to abortion. I also believe that what that 77 percent number is telling me is that people want the woman to be able to make that decision in concert with her medical provider and her religious provider,” Johnson said. “The question is really about whether or not the government should be involved in these decisions or if a woman has the right to make these decisions with her god and her doctor.”

Johnson took over as acting president after former Planned Parenthood leader Dr. Leana Wen was removed from her post earlier this month. Wen said in a statement that she left because of “philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”

Johnson on Tuesday called abortion a “critical part of access to full reproductive and sexual health care” and said Planned Parenthood is concerned about whether the Supreme Court will uphold Roe v. Wade with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE-appointed Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchProtesters roll out a screen playing Blasey Ford's testimony ahead of Federalist Society dinner Kavanaugh to deliver major speech to conservative Federalist Society McConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughElection 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation Protesters roll out a screen playing Blasey Ford's testimony ahead of Federalist Society dinner MORE.

“What we don’t want to do is go back to times where people were making very awful choices, life-threatening choices to access abortion care or connecting to providers that aren’t as trusted in their communities,” Johnson said.