Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Title X Funding Change Over Abortion Is ‘Domestic Gag Rule,’ Pelosi Says

Trump To Bar Family Planning Clinics From Abortion Referrals Federally funded clinics barred from offering abortion help under new rule
Anna Jefferson | 23 February, 2019, 05:13

It also prohibits health care providers from performing or referring patients to have abortions at the same facility receiving Title X dollars, regardless of the funding source. Lesser amounts are earmarked for partner groups, such as Planned Parenthood.

ABC News reported that the proposal is considered a so-called "gag rule" by pro-choice advocates, saying "it's the most concrete step that the administration has taken to limit abortion access since President Trump's inauguration".

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.

"Title X explicitly states that no Title X funds 'shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, '" Americans United for Life said of the new HHS rule.

But Dannenfelser noted that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of similar Title X regulations issued by President Reagan.

The Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule changing funding regulations under the Title X family planning program, a long-awaited action expected to reduce Planned Parenthood's federal tax subsidies by nearly $60 million.

"Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers will now have to choose between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars and moving those abortion operations offsite".

"Of particular concern, HHS declined to deem the Title X rule economically significant - completely disregarding the considerable health-related costs the rule would impose - and failed to conduct a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis", wrote Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, along with Sens. "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".

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Leana Wen, the new head of Planned Parenthood, said in an interview in January that the rule change "would compromise our ethical obligations" so the group stands to lose funding.

"The implications of the Trump-Pence administration's attack on Title X with a gag rule are staggering".

The law prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions. It disburses portions to each of its 18 owner-operated health care centers. But what constitutes "family planning" has become a political point of contention.

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".

Enacted in 1970, the Title X program now provides 4 million low-income people access to reproductive health services, including birth control, STI testing, mammograms and cancer screenings. Each year, roughly $2 million in federal funds are given to the organization for health care services.

"Every woman should be able to access reproductive health care when and where she needs it", Mills said in a statement. About $2 million in Title X funds are in jeopardy under the gag rule, Mills said. "Congress must take action to overturn the final rule".

Leaders of health associations representing black and Latino health care providers and patients joined Wen at a news briefing to decry the new rule They said women from their communities make up more than half the beneficiaries of Title X grants and would be disproportionately harmed by the changes.

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