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Planned Parenthood president says abortion work shouldn't be marginalized

Planned Parenthood president says abortion work shouldn't be marginalized
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The president of Planned Parenthood said in an interview published Tuesday that she doesn’t like to “marginalize” abortion by saying “It’s a small part of what we do.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, the president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood, told The Washington Post that she believes that “abortion is health care,” adding that she thinks “that’s fine” if people think of abortion first when thinking of Planned Parenthood. 

“Planned Parenthood proudly serves all forms of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, and I think when we try to exclude it, we’re excluding a critical part of and a critical option for health care,” she said. 

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Johnson, a political scientist and social justice advocate, clarified that “overall” abortion is a small but “critically important”  part of the work that organization conducts. 

“So I think when we say, ‘It’s a small part of what we do,’ what we’re doing is actually stigmatizing it,” she said. “Like: It’s really not a big deal that Planned Parenthood does this.” 

“We are a proud abortion provider,” she added. “We believe that abortion is health care, and we believe, fundamentally, that self-determination begins with being able to control your own body and freedom begins with being able to control your own body. So I don’t like to marginalize it in that way.”

Johnson said she’s open to conversations with those who disagree but added, “I am not open to not allowing people the freedom they need to make their own decisions.”

The Planned Parenthood executive’s comments come as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE is expected to roll back several of President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE’s administration's restrictions regarding abortions and reproductive health care. The administration's rules led Planned Parenthood to leave a federal family planning grant program.

But Trump has left a lasting impact on courts throughout the nation by nominating many conservative judges and justices likely to be more open to restricting abortion practices. 

Last month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Texas and Louisiana officials could remove Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs. Planned Parenthood could bring the case to the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority after the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettJudge Judy on expanding Supreme Court: 'It's a dumb idea' Court watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress MORE.