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AMA, Planned Parenthood sue over family planning program changes

(Photo via NARAL)

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association and Planned Parenthood sued the Trump administration on Tuesday to stop it from changing a family planning program.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a regulation that would block Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving Title X 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.

From The Hill:

“Because of the administration’s overreach and interference in health care decision making, physicians will be prohibited from having open, frank conversations with their patients about all their healthcare options. This blatant violation of patients’ rights under the Code of Medical Ethics is untenable,” said AMA President Barbara McAneny.

Title X funds are awarded to clinics providing reproductive health services to low-income women across the country, but changes to the program recently rolled out by the administration would ban abortion referrals.

The changes would also make it optional for clinics to tell women about abortion as an option.

Such limits on what doctors working at Title X clinics can say has been characterized by opponents as a “gag rule” that interfere in the patient-physician relationship.

“The new rule imposes a government gag rule on what information physicians can provide to their patients,” McAneny said.

Twenty-two states, including Illinois, are also suing over the new rule.

The Washington Post reported last month 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.

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