Administration cuts funding from clinics that provide or refer for abortions

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(Photo via NARAL)

(Photo via NARAL)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday barred clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to abortion providers from receiving any federal funding.

Clinics are already barred from using federal money for abortion services. The new rule would block all funding, including those used for other family planning and health services, if there was not financial and physical separation of abortion and other healthcare.

The Washington Post reported that federally funded family planning clinics can no longer refer a patient for abortion and will have to maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between services funded by the government and any organization that provides abortions or referrals for abortions. The rule affects Title X funds, which usually go to support low-income women’s health needs.

From the Post:

The change was celebrated by social conservatives who oppose abortion and helped elect Trump. Health and Human Services officials have said the change is necessary to ensure transparency and the legal and ethical use of taxpayer funds.

The move represents “decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, said in a statement.

“The finalized ‘protect life rule’ draws a bright line between abortion and family planning programs – just as the federal law requires and the Supreme Court has upheld,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

“As the rule text stands today, Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) will not accept any Title X funding because we will not compromise our ethics or our patients’ health. The gag rule further stigmatizes and silos reproductive health care in a way that we don’t see in any other health care,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO Planned Parenthood of Illinois, when contacted. “All patients, regardless of income, should have access to the best medical care and information possible. The gag rule keeps patients from having all their options.  This gag rule will leave people without care. Of the 95 Title X providers in Illinois, PPIL makes up only 18% of those providers but serves 42% of patients. Community health centers throughout Illinois say there is no way they could fill the gap if Planned Parenthood health centers were no longer allowed to serve these patients. The rule would devastate reproductive health care.”

All patients, regardless of income, should have access to the best medical care and information possible. The gag rule keeps patients from having all their options.  This gag rule will leave people without care. Of the 95 Title X providers in Illinois, PPIL makes up only 18% of those providers but serves 42% of patients. Community health centers throughout Illinois say there is no way they could fill the gap if Planned Parenthood health centers were no longer allowed to serve these patients. The rule would devastate reproductive health care.”

New York, California and Washington state have already announced plans to sue the administration over the rule.

“The Trump Administration just enacted baseless regulations pushing an anti-choice political agenda on families who rely on Title X for access to critical family planning & health services,” New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said in a series of tweets reported on by The Hill. “These new rules are dangerous & unnecessary. New York will not stand by as this administration puts New Yorkers’ & millions of Americans at risk. We will take legal action.”

The Post reported that the rule takes effect 60 days after it’s published in Federal Register. Clinics will have 120 days to comply with the requirement that family planning and abortion services are kept financially separated and a year to comply with the physical separation requirement.

Updated with reaction from Planned Parenthood of Illinois

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