Boosted by grassroots energy, Planned Parenthood is going on offense in the states

Planned Parenthood is under attack by the Trump administration—which included a far-right organization in designing a policy making it easier for states to exclude Planned Parenthood from Medicaid. But the women’s health organization isn’t just playing defense:

The nonprofit is working alongside state lawmakers, advocates for reproductive rights and partners — such as the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Latino Memphis in Tennessee and the Michigan Progressive Women’s Caucus — to push reproductive rights policies in more than a dozen states and DC this week. The organization, its partners, policymakers and activists plan to advance initiatives in all 50 states by the end of the year.

“This really is growing out of an unprecedented grass-roots movement across the country,” Danielle Wells, Planned Parenthood’s assistant director of state policy media, told CNN. “People are mobilizing, organizing and fighting back on behalf of their health and rights. We are channeling that energy into action, and really going on the offense. Now is time for us to unite together and expand reproductive health care.”

This week’s push includes advancing policies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The policies include protections for birth control insurance coverage and bills that expand access to abortion, according to Planned Parenthood.

It’s a good idea for all kinds of progressive organizations: Go on the offensive now. Then be ready to take advantage of any electoral gains Democrats make in November by passing even more good policy at whatever level you can. If the federal level is blocked, look to the states.