Health Care

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

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

The new rule specifically prohibits "referral for abortion as a method of family planning", but does not bar "nondirective counseling on abortion".

If the rule goes into effect, Planned Parenthood would be barred from receiving funding from the federal program.

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".

The policy released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department pleased conservative evangelicals, a key part of President Trump's political base, and faith-based family planning providers could reap millions at the expense of Planned Parenthood.

The Department of Health and Human Services put forth a revision of the Title X family planning program, which states that no funds appropriated to the program "may be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning and related statutory requirements". "The new Title X regulations are a win-win for all Americans".

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.

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

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"We are celebrating the newly finalized Title X rules that will redirect some taxpayer resources away from abortion vendors", Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement.

"The Title X program was not meant to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives nearly $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars", she emphasized.

When the proposed rule change was first announced in May, the White House said only clinics with "a bright line of physical as well as financial separation" between Title X programs and those that support or refer for abortion would be eligible. "Forcing taxpayers to fund abortion providers is wrong and should've ended long ago".

Wen insisted that abortion is "standard medical health care". "At the same time, the new regulation protects low-income women who rely on Title X assistance because no funds will be cut from the program".

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". The new rule also requires Title X recipients to involve minor recipients' parents or guardians in communications about them seeking taxpayer-provided birth control.

Katherine Ragsdale, the interim president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), said in a statement that "any attempt to reduce access to comprehensive reproductive health care simply to score political points with anti-abortion extremists is unacceptable". Title X funds provide much-needed family planning services for millions of people. Their letter pointed out that HHS had failed to provide an adequate cost-benefit analysis or to account for the rule's negative health impacts on the poor women the program serves. "Congress must take action to overturn the final rule".

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