BALTIMORE (AP) — Planned Parenthood says it is launching a regional political advocacy group to help protect abortion rights in Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia.

Planned Parenthood is announcing this week that it is creating the political 501(c)(4) group.

The announcement comes as abortion restrictions have been approved in state legislatures around the nation.

Karen Nelson, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland and the co-CEO of the new regional group, is describing the action in other states as "a coordinated, aggressive and horrifying agenda to ban abortion and overturn Roe v. Wade." That's the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure nationwide.

Planned Parenthood says the new group will advocate politically to protect access to reproductive health care services.

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