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A year after Supreme Court's abortion decision, Planned Parenthood announces layoffs

Abortion rights supporters rally outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis on May 31, 2019. At the time, it was the last location in Missouri performing abortions. The state's abortion ban took effect soon after the Dobbs decision in 2022.
SAUL LOEB
/
AFP via Getty Images
Abortion rights supporters rally outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis on May 31, 2019. At the time, it was the last location in Missouri performing abortions. The state's abortion ban took effect soon after the Dobbs decision in 2022.

Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood officials say they're preparing to restructure the organization's national office and lay off dozens of staff members, with a new focus on helping local affiliates.

Union officials representing Planned Parenthood employees say they have been told to expect layoffs affecting 10 to 20% of the national workforce, or at least 80 people.

In a joint statement from unions representing employees in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., union officials expressed dismay at the news, saying that Planned Parenthood leaders are "pushing out some of our movement's brightest minds. This comes at a time where reproductive freedom is in jeopardy and when our members are struggling under difficult economic conditions."

Planned Parenthood, which provides a variety of reproductive health services including abortion through its clinics around the country, is the nation's most well-known abortion provider. More than a dozen states have implemented abortion bans in response to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision in June 2022, forcing the organization's affiliates to adjust and adapt to a new legal landscape.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund said the organization will "reimagine" its national office and invest $70 million in its affiliates.

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said the organization will expand its telehealth capacity and other technologies aimed at serving patients regardless of location. It will also invest in state and national election fights, and launch an initiative designed to reduce reproductive health disparities for Black women.

"Without question, the world we are living in right now — the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the loss of abortion access, the weaponization of our courts and attacks on our democracy, the criminalization of providers and patients, and rampant misinformation — is vastly different than just a decade ago," she said in the statement. "Planned Parenthood must change too."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.

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