Planned Parenthood plans to lobby in every state this year to expand access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare, which includes an effort to back legislation in California requiring the public college system supply the abortion pill to students.
In a call with reporters Tuesday, Planned Parenthood pointed to the measure in California, awaiting the governor's signature, as a victory for the organization, and said it now plans to go on the "offense" across the country. The group is backing more than a dozen measures in other states, including re-establishing cancer and sexually transmitted infection prevention and testing funding in New Jersey that was blocked by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, as well as a bill that would repeal a 72-hour waiting period for an abortion in Missouri.
A bill Planned Parenthood supports in Maine would allow nurse practitioners to provide the abortion bill to patients.
"We need to not just protect access but expand access to reproductive care that empowers women and their dreams," said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Planned Parenthood has been working at the federal level to stave off limits that the Trump administration has placed on abortion and birth control, including by appointing judges likely to side with abortion restrictions and by creating exemptions for employers who have religious and moral objections to providing contraception.
Many of the restrictions that have been most successful at limiting abortion have happened at the state level, whether through bans on abortions after 20 weeks, setting requirements for the way clinics must operate, or mandating women receive an ultrasound before an abortion.
"This is really about advocating for women's health and rights through the legislative system and educating the public and lawmakers about what is at stake," Laguens said.