Health Care

IL to defy Trump administration's abortion referral 'gag rule'

IL to defy Trump administration's abortion referral 'gag rule'”

"President Trump's gag rule undermines women's health care and threatens the providers that millions of women and girls rely on, and we will not let that stand in the state of IL", the first-year governor said in a statement. "That would mean abortion providers at Planned Parenthood wouldn't get Title X money unless they comply with the regulations".

All three IL organizations set to receive millions of dollars in federal family planning funds are declining them due to new rules they say are "unethical" and keeping money "hostage" from impoverished patients. They include Planned Parenthood, the largest recipient of federal family planning money and a target of social conservatives.

On Monday evening, as conference participants from around the country were arriving in Washington, HHS sent out a notice saying that the federally funded family planning organizations were expected to comply with the changes, derided by critics as "abortion gag rules", by the workday that had just ended.

"A strong majority of Americans have consistently voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion - it is even unpopular among Democrats and self-described pro-choice Americans", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List last week. Planned Parenthood disputed her claim about a secret meeting.

Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions and other health services for women under Title X, has already said it would likewise reject Title X money under the new rules, relying instead on private donations and emergency funds to make up the difference. Its Augusta office is the only one that offers surgical abortions, although every clinic across the state provides medical abortions.

Pritzker, a Democrat, said the state would forgo all Title X funding from the federal government while the Republican administration continues to impose its restriction - decried by critics as a "gag rule" created to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options.

Planned Parenthood provides healthcare services to about 40% of the 4 million people who rely on Title X funding annually. The part of the rule that requires facilities that perform abortions to be located in a place that is separate from actual family planning services is scheduled to take effect next year.

Maine Family Planning receives about $2 million from the program each year. It has been frequently updated and subject to new regulations.

Those clinics normally receive federal Title X grants, which cover services like family-planning and HIV screening for low-income, under-insured and uninsured women.

Planned Parenthood is in the midst of a leadership upheaval, after its board abruptly ousted the organization's president this week.

The long-scheduled conference that ended Friday was the department's first for federally funded family planning organizations since 2015, and participants said Foley told them that "she, too, had very little notice" that family planning organizations would be being expected to comply with the new rules immediately.

Wen was appointed head of Planned Parenthood in September 2018, following the 12-year presidency of Cecile Richards. The organization has argued that community health centers would be unable to absorb its patients if Planned Parenthood were forced out of business. Dr. Wen said she thought "the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a healthcare one, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights", according to the report.

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