The Trump administration said Friday that it will begin to draw a bright line of separation between abortion providers and family planning clinics that receive federal money under a Health and Human Services Department grant program.
The practical impact of the new regulation, which will take effect in 60 days, is to bar the clinics from referring women to doctors for the purpose of terminating their pregnancies.
That will hit Planned Parenthood the hardest: It receives between $50 million and $60 million of the $286 million distributed in what are known as Title X grants.
Under the new rule, the nation’s largest abortion provider netowrk, and other clinics that accept the funding, won’t be permitted to perform abortions or make any abortion referrals at the same facilities where they offer mammograms, cancer screenings and birth control – the services the grants are meant to pay for.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, couod lose up to $60 million in annual federal funding following a new rule designed to put up a strict wall of separation between traditional family planning clinics and abortion providers
Trump ran as a pro-life conservative in 2016 and attracted the support of millions of southern evangelicals who expect him to be on their side in the abortion culture wars
Pro-life groups were ecstatic Friday at the long-anticipated effort to disentangle Planned Parenthood clinics from taxpayer-funded pools of money
President Trump has embraced pro-life politics since beginning his 2016 campaign, and anti-abortion evangelicals flocked to vote for him.
Defenders of abortion rights are already planning to sue HHS, citing the needs of 4 million women who go to clinics with Title X grants
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told
‘Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin,’ she said. ‘It would never happen. Reproductive health care should be no different.’
Four months after the new rule takes effect, grant-receiving clinics will have to demonstrate that they have stopped recommending abortion providers, and that they have no financial relationships with them.
They will lose funding eight months later if they can’t show their operations are also not housed in the same facility as abortion clinics.
Federal law bans the use of taxpayer money for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when a pregnanat mother’s life is in danger.
Abortion advocates see pregnancy termination as an ordinary health service and say it shouldn’t be treated different from a prescription or other medical treatment
Trump spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala last May in Washington; the group has become a major voice in the national abortion debate
‘The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood,’ Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood has said the administration appears to be targeting them, and calls the policy a ‘gag rule.’
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement that her group was ‘celebrating the newly finalized Title X rules that will redirect some taxpayer resources away from abortion vendors.’
‘Religious conservatives have long argued that the program indirectly subsidizes Planned Parenthood.
A group representing family planning clinics decried the administration’s decision.
‘This rule intentionally strikes at the heart of the patient-provider relationship, inserting political ideology into a family planning visit, which will frustrate and ultimately discourage patients from seeking the health care they need,’ Clare Coleman, head of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement.