Trump bars clinic referrals, sets up other abortion obstacles

President Donald Trump looks out at the audience during a speech at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington

The Trump administration on Friday issued a rule prohibiting family planning clinics that receive federal funding from referring women for abortions - a move aimed at stemming the flow of taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.

The policy released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) pleased religious conservatives, a key building block of President Donald Trump's political base.

"This rule will require Title X providers to maintain physical and financial separation from locations which provide abortion as a method of family planning".

The family planning rule published Friday is expected to result in a dramatic change in the type of information the women participating in Title X programs receive. The new policy is certain to be challenged in court.

While the change was touted as necessary to ensure transparency and appeases pro-life conservatives, opponents like NY attorney general Letitia James have promised to fight the rule in the court.

Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) List President Marjorie Dannenfelser thanked President Trump in a statement for "taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood".

MCCAMMON: Not necessarily. This final rule has been posted online, and it's being submitted to the Federal Register, which will make it official.

Pelosi went on to say, "This outrageous assault on the health care of vulnerable and under-served women and families would choke off their access to affordable contraception, critical health information and preventive health care, gravely undermining the health and strength of America".

Wen told Modern Healthcare that Planned Parenthood, which now serves 41% of the people in the Title X network, has been planning its next steps for months while waiting for the rule to come out.

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That may include refusing Title X funding altogether and looking for other funding alternatives, she said, "if it becomes too onerous to operate under that system and we don't feel like we would be giving our patients good care".

The anticipated ruling is predicted to cut $60 million from Planned Parenthood's coffers.

"This rule compromises the oath that I took to serve patients and help them with making the best decision for their own health", Wen said in a statement. Moreover, clinics will not be allowed to promote abortion as a family planning method. About 40 percent of those clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood, which receives close to $60 million through the family funding program each year.

President Trump and Republicans generally have been agitating the air in recent weeks about the tiny number of late-term abortions being protected under new state laws that protect this option in cases where the woman's life or health is at risk.

'Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin, ' she said. It falls well short of the Trump/GOP pledge to "defund Planned Parenthood" because Medicaid remains the largest source of federal funding for services performed by the organization.

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 rule also does not affect most of the taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, even though polls consistently show majorities of Americans oppose using tax dollars to subsidize abortions.

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 goal of terminating their pregnancies.

The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement that abortion be discussed as an option along with prenatal care and adoption.

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