Trump administration bans abortion referrals at U.S.-funded clinics

Donald Trump

Trump administration bans abortion referrals at U.S.-funded clinics

"This clear attack on family planning care could result in lower-quality care or none at all for people struggling to make ends meet", added Coleman, whose organization represents publicly funded family planning providers and administrators. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said that the "finalized "protect life rule" draws a bright line between abortion and family planning programs".

Planned Parenthood received about $500 million a year from various government sources.

Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen said on Friday that "the Title X gag rule will essentially dismantle this critical federal program" and that in many remote or rural areas of the U.S., Planned Parenthood is "the only provider who participates in the program".

Mills allied herself with Maine Family Planning on Friday, saying she will work with Attorney General Aaron Frey, Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and the Legislature to "determine what we can do at the state level to protect the health care of Maine women".

"Consistent with the statutory requirement that no funds may be expended where abortion is a method of family planning, this regulation no longer requires, and affirmatively prohibits, referral for abortion as a method of family planning", it says.

Maine Family Planning is the state's only direct recipient of Title X money.

And even though Planned Parenthood insists that the Title X funding it receives is used for the many non-abortion services it provides - including access to birth control, Pap smears, pregnancy and STD testing - conservatives have long argued that the organization and reproductive health care centers like it should be cut off from family planning federal funding altogether.

"Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers will now have to choose between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars and moving those abortion operations offsite".

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President Donald Trump announced the move last May, which will require facilities providing Title X services to be physically separate from those that commit or refer for abortions.

"Planned Parenthood will fight the Trump-Pence administration through every avenue so this illegal, unethical rule never goes into effect", Dr. Wen, said on a Friday conference call with reporters.

She pointed out that Title X program was never meant to be a "slush fund" for abortion groups like Planned Parenthood, "which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year".

A statement from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List praises the new rule, saying in past years Planned Parenthood has received nearly $60 million in Title X grants.

The organization claims "thousands of people will be left with nowhere to turn for health care" because of the decision. 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. "The Trump Administration's gag rule is 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".

Enacted in 1970, the Title X program now provides 4 million low-income people access to reproductive health services, including birth control, STI testing, mammograms and cancer screenings. But what constitutes "family planning" has become a political point of contention. About $2 million in Title X funds are in jeopardy under the gag rule, Mills said.

To continue receiving taxpayer subsidies under the program, health clinics will have to comply with the new rule. "Congress must take action to overturn the final rule".

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