“We’re not going to let this become a country where people can no longer access abortion.”
Washington, DC — Today Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced a multi-million dollar, nationwide effort to ensure abortion is still accessible in the United States no matter what happens at the Supreme Court. This comes in the wake of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — solidifying an anti-abortion majority on the highest court in the land, and making it likely that the nationwide right to safe and legal abortion will be further eroded, if not eliminated, in the near future.
Dubbed “Care for All: A Plan to Protect and Expand Access to Abortion in the United States,” this three-part plan lays out how the organizations will work to ensure there is still access to abortion across the country, even if the national protections afforded by Roe v. Wade disappear.
Read the full plan HERE.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. With Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, we will likely see the further erosion — and perhaps complete reversal — of Roe v. Wade soon. But Planned Parenthood is not going to let this become a country where people can no longer access safe and legal abortion. We began working on this plan before Trump and Pence took office, and we’re kicking it into high gear today. We demand a world where who you are or how much money you make doesn’t determine your access to health care or access to safe, legal abortion. We demand a world where your personal health care decisions aren’t affected by stigma, shame, or silence. We demand a world where providers can give patients the care they need without harassment or government interference. We demand a world where our elected officials represent the vast majority of Americans who support access to safe, legal abortion. No matter what those in power may say, each of us deserves the right to control our own bodies. That includes the right to decide if and when to become a parent. Planned Parenthood will never back down — and today, we are fighting for all of our rights and freedoms.
Statement from Dr. Amy Whitaker, Planned Parenthood of Illinois:
Every day in our health centers, we see firsthand the kind of impact severe abortion restrictions have on the women in states that border Illinois. Already, women are forced to face the financial burden of traveling to us from out of state to access care. As a health care provider and advocate, we are committed to using every tool at our disposal to reduce barriers and increase access to safe, legal abortion. We know that we’ll need an ironclad network of states and providers across the country where abortion will still be legal and accessible, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court.
Statement from Crystal Strait, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California:
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California is not letting the federal government slow us down. Our mission is to ensure every person has access to the full scope of reproductive and sexual health care, and we’re going to make that happen. We are already proud that Planned Parenthood provides affordable abortion services to any person. Now we’re seeking ways to increase access to abortion for people with low incomes, including financial support for women who travel long distances. We are ready to move forward with elected officials in California to advance a bold agenda that invests millions of dollars in new resources to expand access and break down barriers for women and people to get abortion care, no matter where they are.
The plan will work to ensure access to abortion on three fronts:
- Access: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates will expand services in states where abortion is likely to remain legal and accessible, and invest in technology and other resources to help people living in hostile states access abortion, no matter what. Planned Parenthood will do this through investment in a Regional Access Network,expanding where telemedicine is offered, and leveraging technology and innovation to help connect people to services.
- Policy: Planned Parenthood Action Fund and local Planned Parenthood advocacy organizations will partner with state advocates and coalition partners to use state policies to ensure there’s an ironclad network of states across the country where abortion will still be legal, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court. They will also continue to work to enact good laws that both protect and expand access to abortion, and fight tooth and nail to stop legislation that seeks to further restrict access.
- Culture change: This work encompasses fighting abortion restrictions at their source: the stigma that still surrounds abortion in this country. Planned Parenthood will be enhancing our efforts to destigmatize abortion in the media, in everyday conversations, and across popular culture — including working with the music, fashion, movie, and television industries, and with additional public awareness campaigns to be announced in the coming months.
With Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court, access to abortion across the country is uniquely at risk. Right now, there are 13 abortion cases just one step away from the Supreme Court — meaning that it’s likely the court will rule on this issue in the next year or two. Twenty states are poised to ban abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned, threatening access for more than 25 million women — or a third of all women of reproductive age in this country. This includes more than 4.3 million Hispanic or Latino women, nearly 3.5 million Black or African American women, more than 800,000 Asian women, and nearly 300,000 American Indian or Alaska Native women of reproductive age. Since 2011, politicians have passed more than 400 new state abortion restrictions that shame, pressure, and punish people who have decided to have an abortion. Many of these laws blatantly flout Supreme Court precedent — such as in Missouri, where politicians are trying to enforce abortion restrictions nearly identical to the Texas laws that were found to be unconstitutional just two years ago.
Planned Parenthood began work on this plan shortly after Donald Trump and Mike Pence took office. This past June, Planned Parenthood convened staff members from 19 states and Washington, D.C. to strategically plan for an expansion of abortion access in key states, address current inequities in access, and prepare for a legal environment that fails to protect abortion access nationally.
Planned Parenthood is uniquely positioned to do this work. As one of the nation’s leading providers of sexual and reproductive health care with a presence in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Planned Parenthood health centers serve communities across the country with expert, trusted health care and education. In addition, Planned Parenthood's national network means that Planned Parenthood affiliates have the ability to continue serving patients across the country, even while we face politically hostile environments and ongoing attacks.
And Planned Parenthood Action Fund and local Planned Parenthood advocacy organizations are already well-positioned to not just defeat hostile legislation, but also push forward proactive legislation that will expand access to health care. Just this year, over 93 percent of introduced abortion restrictions were successfully blocked, defeated, or delayed. And a record 123 proactive measures with a positive impact on sexual and reproductive health were enacted.
The vast majority of people in this country believe that women should make their own personal health care decisions, and they support the right to access abortion safely and legally, without interference from politicians. 72 percent of Americans — including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans— do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
Background: Women of color and women with low incomes, who consistently face barriers to accessing health care and who are already less likely to have access to safe, legal abortion in the U.S., will be hit the hardest by the Supreme Court eroding or overturning Roe v. Wade.
- Systemic racism and discriminatory policies in this country have contributed to income inequality — as a result, many women of color have less access to health care, including contraception, leading to more unintended pregnancies and higher rates of abortion.
- Though rates of unintended pregnancies have dropped significantly overall in the last 30 years, women of color are still roughlytwice as likely to experience an unintended pregnancy as White women.
- Women of color have proportionally more abortions than White, non-Hispanic women, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
- Women of color are already less likely to be able to access safe, legal abortion in the U.S. and the erosion of Roe v. Wade threatens their health care even further.
- Racism and other systemic barriers have contributed to income inequality that makes Black people and Latinos in the U.S. more likely to use federally funded insurance, like Medicaid, to access health care — which, in a majority of states, is barred from covering abortion in almost all cases.
- The Indian Health Service (IHS) provides all members of federally recognized Native American tribes and their descendants with health care, and federal policy requires that the IHS provide abortion in select cases. However, the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center found that more than 85 percent of IHS facilities were non-compliant.
- In some states, legislators have used cultural misinformation about Asian American women to craft abortion restrictions.
- Latina women and non-Hispanic Black women are less likely to have access to family planning services, which can result in significantly lower rates of contraceptive use.
- Women with low incomes who use Medicaid to access health care also face barriers to access safe, legal abortion in the U.S.
- In nearly all cases, Medicaid is barred from covering abortion.
- Many women must sacrifice necessities in order to pay for abortion care.Studiesindicate that many women are forced to divert money meant for rent, child care, utility bills, and food for themselves and their families to pay for an abortion.
Background: Over the past two years, the Trump-Pence administration has launched a full-out assault on our health and rights. It:
- Issued a rule to allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees
- Ended protections for survivors of sexual assault on campus
- Tried to eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
- Tried, over and over again, to block patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers
- Appointed officials who don’t believe women should use birth control to oversee our nation’s program dedicated to affordable birth control and reproductive health care
- Continually tried to physically prevent young immigrant women from accessing safe, legal abortion — even after courts ordered them to stop
- Promoted ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for young people.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.