Published: Sat, February 23, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Trump administration issues rule that could cost Planned Parenthood tens of millions

Trump administration issues rule that could cost Planned Parenthood tens of millions

Today's broad-based move against abortion and family planning services is more illustrative of the comprehensively restrictive intentions of this administration and its party.

Reproductive rights advocates are calling this a "domestic gag rule", an allusion to a long-standing Republican worldwide policy known as the "global gag rule" (or Mexico City Policy) prohibiting USA -supported family planning money from going to organizations that perform or promote abortion services. Formally known as the Protect Life Rule, this resembles a similar "gag rule" that already applies to federal funds allocated to reproductive health organizations operating overseas.

This may be intended as a shot in the arm to Trump's anti-abortion supporters, especially on the religious right. It disburses portions to each of its 18 owner-operated health care centers.

The Trump administration issued a final rule on Friday that could cost Planned Parenthood tens of millions in federal funding, in a move Politico called "another major policy win for social conservatives looking to prohibit access to abortion".

Planned Parenthood serves about 40 percent of Title X patients and provides both abortions (at some of its clinics) and referrals to abortion providers as part of its family planning and reproductive health services.

Scalise continued, "The Title X Program was never meant to subsidize abortion providers".

"We thank President Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, about the policy, dubbed the Protect Life Rule.

In Maine, Title X supports health care providers throughout the state including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Maine Family Planning and several federally qualified health centers, according to the governor's office. "The final rule requires physical and financial separation of Title X projects and the provision and promotion of abortion".

The administration has implemented a similar rule - nicknamed the "Mexico City gag rule" - for grantees of US foreign aid that prevents organizations that get those funds from referring, providing or discussing abortion with patients. The rule was modeled after requirements adopted under President Ronald Reagan but never enforced.

The revisions will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, according to HHS. If Friday's news is any guide, there will be plenty of pushback. HHS said that mandate is "inconsistent with federal conscience laws".

Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose celebrated the rule change as a "crucial step in the right direction", meanwhile.

Title X, established in 1970, provides more than $250 million in funding for birth control and other reproductive health care services to approximately 4 million people every year. They have also described it as an indirect way to defund Planned Parenthood, which has always been a target of antiabortion activists as the nation's largest provider of reproductive care services.

Planned Parenthood's president, Leana Wen, called the new rule "unconscionable and unethical". The new rule also requires Title X recipients to involve minor recipients' parents or guardians in communications about them seeking taxpayer-provided birth control.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, D, tweeted that the new rule is "dangerous & unnecessary", putting millions of Americans at risk, and that the state would take legal action.

The updates announced Friday will replace rules that have been in place since 2000.

The rule is expected to be challenged in federal court.

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