Published: Sat, February 23, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Federally funded clinics barred from offering abortion help under new rule

Federally funded clinics barred from offering abortion help under new rule

"We will have to weigh that against our mission and obligation to make sure those services are available", said Kate Brogan, vice president for public affairs for Maine Family Planning, which is considering suing the Trump administration over the change.

"The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions", she continued.

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".

President Trump issued a final federal rule Friday that could deprive abortion giant Planned Parenthood of $60 million in taxpayer funding annually.

The administration plan would also prohibit family planning clinics from being housed in the same location as abortion providers.

Last year, as attorney general, Mills joined states across the country in a lawsuit attempting to block the Trump administration from making such changes to Title X.

The Trump administration has delivered a blow to the abortion industry, finalizing a rule that redirects Title X family planning funds away from groups like Planned Parenthood, which is America's biggest abortion provider.

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"The Title X program was not meant to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B Anthony List.

Dannenfelser argued that 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".

"I want our patients to know this - we will fight through every avenue so this illegal, unethical rule never goes into effect", said Planned Parenthood's president, Dr. Lena Wen.

"If the official published rule is as damaging as today's draft final version", Coleman said, her group "will be prepared to challenge the Trump administration to protect the family planning safety net for the millions of people who rely on it". It disburses portions to each of its 18 owner-operated health care centers. 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.

Critics of the rule, Politico reported, contend it will amount to a "domestic gag rule" that prohibits health care providers counseling patients on all of their "reproductive choices". But what constitutes "family planning" has become a political point of contention. "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". The new rule also requires Title X recipients to involve minor recipients' parents or guardians in communications about them seeking taxpayer-provided birth control. Title X funds provide much-needed family planning services for millions of people.

Regardless, when the new changes are implemented, Brogan said, it will alter the way many Mainers receive health care, and Maine Family Planning will likely be forced to confront how it chooses to offer services in the future.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, however, applauded the administration, saying in a statement Friday night, "Since President Trump took office, we have made great strides toward defending the sanctity of life".

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