Leaders of Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that they are working with local lawmakers in a dozen states on bills to increase access to abortion, or to roll back measures that impose limitations on it.
"We’re trying to work in every state — even in the toughest places to expand access… by the end of this year, we will take this offensive fight to all 50 states," said Dawn Laguens, the group’s executive vice president, The Washington Post reported.
The efforts of the chain of women’s reproductive health centers includes a bill to repeal Missouri’s 72-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion and a bill that restores family planning funding in New Jersey that Republican former Gov. Chris Christie had removed from the budget, the report said.
Other legislation that Planned Parenthood supports includes a Maine bill to allow nurse practitioners to prescribe abortion pills, The Post reported.
Planned Parenthood also is pushing measures in California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, where Democrats lead the legislatures.
Other efforts are in states with Republican-led legislatures—Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Republicans lead over a quarter of state governments, the report said.
Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, despite the support of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, appear unlikely to succeed, The Post reported. The most recent effort failed alongside bills to repeal and replace Obamacare, the report said.
However, states’ efforts to restrict abortions continue; in 2017, 19 states adopted 63 new restrictions on abortion rights and access, the Guttmacher Institute reported.
The centers now operate fewer clinics and provide fewer services—The Post noted that the centers operate more than 600 clinics in the U.S., but operated 860 clinics 13 years ago.
Laguens, the executive vice president pointed out historically low rates of unintended pregnancy, teen pregnancy, and abortion, and noted that women are using long-acting, reversible contraception, so they do not need to visit clinics as often, the report said.
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