Trump administration to ban abortion referrals by taxpayer-funded family planning clinics


Trump's new rule targets Planned Parenthood in particular because Title X Family Planning is a $286 million-a-year federal grant program for organizations which provide reproductive health services to low-income women.

The rule also prohibits "referral for abortion as a method of family planning", removing the requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling. In a call-to-action on their webpage, Planned Parenthood said the new rule "puts healthcare at risk for four million patients and keeps patients from getting information about all of their health care options".

"Of particular concern, HHS declined to deem the Title X rule economically significant - completely disregarding the considerable health-related costs the rule would impose - and failed to conduct a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis", wrote Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, along with Sens.

Although the policy was published Friday, it's not official until it appears in the Federal Register, and changes may be made before that occurs.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement that "abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning - which is why the Title X program has no business funding it".

Federal law bans the use of taxpayer money for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when a pregnanat mother's life is in danger.

Among other provisions, the Protect Life Rule requires that there be a physical and financial separation between recipients of Title X funds and facilities that perform abortions. Representative Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the new rule "another blatant attack on women's health by the Trump Administration that violates the Title X statute and defies Congressional intent".

Although federal family planning funds by law can not be used to pay for abortions, religious conservatives have long argued that the programme indirectly subsidises Planned Parenthood.

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"This rule jeopardizes the foundation that our nation's family planning providers have built and sustained for almost 50 years", Coleman said. They've also described it as an indirect way to defund Planned Parenthood, which has always been a target of anti-abortion activists as the nation's largest provider of reproductive care services, including abortions. It falls well short of the Trump/GOP pledge to "defund Planned Parenthood" because Medicaid remains the largest source of federal funding for services performed by the organization.

'Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin, ' she said.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers now have to choose between shuttering their abortion services or moving them if they want to continue to receive federal funds. Last August, HHS announced that the network would largely remain status quo, with 12 additions including Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Title X was created to provide affordable reproductive care to women who otherwise couldn't afford it.

The practical impact of the new regulation, which will take effect in 60 days, is to bar the clinics from referring women to doctors for the goal of terminating their pregnancies.

A leading provider of women's health care in ME considering a lawsuit to prevent implementation of the rule as Gov. Janet Mills considers responses to what she described as "backward policy that will silence health care providers, withhold vital medical information from patients, and prevent women from getting the basic health care they need". Since May, lawsuits have been filed to try to block these most recent changes.

"We thank President Donald Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a group opposed to abortion rights.

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins used politically charged language in a statement on the finalized rule to dubiously connect abortion services to infanticide. Thus Nixon "proposed federal funding of contraception": "I believe, therefore, that we should establish as a national goal the provision of adequate family planning services within the next five years to all those who want them but can not afford them".