Shock report: Planned Parenthood secretly lobbied against shielding ‘telehealth’ abortion providers

A San Francisco Chronicle report claims that while Planned Parenthood was busy “publicly supporting state-level efforts to pass abortion shield laws that protect clinicians providing care to patients within their own state,” the corporation also “privately lobbied officials in California, New York and Massachusetts” against passing so-called telehealth abortion shield laws.

The Chronicle reportedly received this information from “half a dozen people involved in the laws’ passage.” The paper claimed Planned Parenthood’s motive for the opposition was that the abortion corporation believed telehealth shield laws “could be risky for providers and damaging to efforts to protect existing abortion care.”

The report noted that despite the corporation’s efforts, “telehealth shield protections ultimately became law in seven states: California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Washington.”

And Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only organization opposing the telehealth shield laws behind the scenes. According to the media outlet, “The ACLU and the National Abortion Federation were also among the reproductive rights groups that privately opposed telehealth shield laws in several states, three sources told the Chronicle.”

Planned Parenthood opposed Telehealth abortion shield laws according to SF Chronicle (Image: Twitter "X")

Planned Parenthood opposed Telehealth abortion shield laws according to SF Chronicle (Image: Twitter “X”)

The paper spoke with Tracy Weitz, a professor of sociology at American University. Weitz cofounded Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) before leaving to become the Buffett Foundation’s director of U.S. programs in 2014. In that conversation, it was noted that other ‘abortion rights’ groups had initially “suggested that these laws would be risky and damaging to move forward.”

“The Planned Parenthood Federation of America does not allow its clinicians to provide telehealth abortions, although some of its local affiliates do,” claimed the Chronicle, adding that “The organization did not directly respond to the Chronicle’s questions about whether it had privately lobbied California, New York and Massachusetts officials.’

A firestorm of criticism

“Hi. Quick question. What’s the point of us doing all this work to save abortion if Planned Parenthood is just gonna stay behind after the meeting and lobby against abortion legislation? Asking for a few friends,” ReproJobs asked on Twitter/X after learning the news.

“There’s a reason advocates keep telling us to donate to local orgs instead of PP,” a separate account wrote in response to a post from ‘abortion rights’ advocate Renee Bracey-Sherman.

Abortion advocates criticize Planned Parenthood opposition to telehealth shield laws (Images: Twitter "X")

Abortion advocates criticize Planned Parenthood opposition to telehealth shield laws (Images: Twitter/X)

Planned Parenthood’s opposition in various states


In September of 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB345, which “protects healthcare practitioners located in California who provide telehealth services and dispense medication for abortion, contraception and gender-affirming care to out-of-state patients,” according to California State Senator Nancy Skinner.

“Planned Parenthood publicly supported some telehealth shield laws, but staff members privately told Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office they weren’t in favor of them, Jodi Jacobson, executive director of Healthcare Across Borders, said,” according to the Chronicle.

The report also claimed that three sources who requested to remain anonymous told them that “Planned Parenthood officials told California lawmakers considering Senate Bill 345 by Berkeley Sen. Nancy Skinner last year that the telehealth measure could be risky to providers.”

Though the bill did eventually pass, “Planned Parenthood’s opposition helped tank the California bill in the first session it was introduced, a source familiar with the measure said on condition of anonymity,” claimed the Chronicle.

New York

In June of 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed S.1066B/A.1709B, which “Ensures New York Providers Can Prescribe Medication Abortion and Deliver Reproductive Health Care Through Telehealth Services to Patients in States Where Abortion Services are Outlawed or Restricted,” according to a press release.

But the Chronicle alleges that “Planned Parenthood staff also privately lobbied New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and then-Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to weaken provisions of the bills or hold them until the next legislative session….”

Jacobson with Healthcare Across Borders added, “Planned Parenthood told other closely affiliated organizations not to support the New York telehealth shield law, but those groups eventually got on board when they saw there was enough support for the law.”


Massachusetts was the first state to pass a telehealth abortion provider shield law in July of 2022, later followed by Washington, Colorado, Vermont and New York,” wrote Ms. Magazine last year.

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ (PPLM) Elizabeth Janiak called the move “immensely assuring” but added that “the extent to which that law will help is not yet fully known.”

The discussion was featured in a Twitter/X post created by Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts.

But as previously stated, Planned Parenthood was lobbying then-Massachusetts AG Maura Healey behind the scenes to halt or pause the legislation.

Funding and lawsuits

According to the Chronicle, “Groups that provide funding for patients to obtain abortions and their donors have been reluctant to pay providers for interstate telehealth abortions.” Weitz speculated that these groups “are choosing to protect their organization[‘s] survival” over providing information about “relatively inexpensive and relatively easy” abortion access.

Last month, Live Action News documented how the Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin sent cease and desist letters to two mail-order abortion pill businesses, threatening them with legal action if they continue to market abortion drugs from out of state into Arkansas, in violation of the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“These companies must cease and desist advertising relating to the performance of abortion services in Arkansas immediately or face the possibility of lawsuits from my office. As Attorney General, I will continue fighting to enforce the laws of our state,” Griffin wrote. Aid Access and Choice Woman’s Medical Center of New York were the named abortion providers.

Elsewhere, he noted, “Organizations cannot provide goods and services directly to Arkansans for use within Arkansas in a manner that violates Arkansas law. I will continue to hold organizations accountable for violations of the ADTPA and ensure that Arkansas laws protecting innocent life are followed.”

So far, only Choice Woman’s Medical Center has complied.

“Choices has since removed the problematic language from its website, which resolves this violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” Griffin said. “I have sent a letter notifying Choices that the organization has satisfactorily complied with my demand,” KART.com reported.

Comstock Act repeal discouraged

In addition to the telehealth abortion shield laws, the SF Chronicle also alleged that “Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union have reportedly discouraged Democrats from introducing legislation to repeal the Comstock Act, citing concerns that action could affect ongoing litigation.”

The outlet added that “If the Comstock Act, the obscure 1873 law that abortion opponents are invoking in the Supreme Court case to limit access to mifepristone, was enforced again, it could upend telehealth abortion for all states.”

Ironically, the goal behind shield law protections is to protect abortion providers, not women accessing abortion. Access to abortion (and the profit that can be made in the process) tends to trump women’s safety within the abortion industry.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.


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