Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Planned Parenthood Rejects Title X Funding

Mayra Rodriguez a former Planned Parenthood clinic director in Arizona was awarded $3 million in damages for wrongful termination PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Eureka Clinic Shouldn't Experience Cutbacks, Despite Withdrawal From Federal Funding Over Trump Administration 'Gag Rule'
Patty Aguilar | 20 August, 2019, 16:18

Planned Parenthood said all of its clinics will formally leave Title X, the marquee federal program dedicated to providing birth control to low-income women.

Critics said Planned Parenthood's action showed it was primarily focused on abortion.

"The Trump administration's restrictions on Title X trample on sexual and reproductive rights, putting the lives of all pregnant people at significant risk, especially low-income women", said Tarah Demant, director of the organization's Gender, Sexuality and Identity Program. "Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them".

IL is one of seven states to mirror Planned Parenthood's actions by refusing Title X funding in light of the regulations.

They have been campaigning relentlessly to "defund Planned Parenthood" because - among its varied services - it is the largest abortion provider in the United States, and they viewed the Title X grants as an indirect subsidy.

The announcement comes amid a protracted legal battle with the White House over changes to the almost 50-year-old Title X program, which annually provides $286 million to healthcare providers to fund family planning services such as birth control.

Critics countered that the move made clear what they said has always been an open secret: Planned Parenthood's chief role as an abortion provider.

"Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion", Mancini added.

The new rules, which Planned Parenthood has called a "gag rule", prevent providers that receive Title X funding from giving abortion referrals or telling patients where to obtain one, and will also require abortion providers to be separate from those that use Title X funding for other services. Planned Parenthood says it has served about 40% percent of patients.

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Planned Parenthood was not the only organization dropping out. Maine's sole Title X grantee, Maine Family Planning, is also withdrawing.

The court has not done so but it has agreed to revisit the issue at oral arguments the week of September 23. Several states and the American Medical Association have joined the suit as plaintiffs. Recently fired president Dr. Leana Wen said she was ousted because she wanted to promote comprehensive women's health over abortion. Levine sent word to HHS June 15, ahead of the August 19 deadline to submit a plan outlining how Vermont would comply with the rule changes. Enforcement will start September 18.

The new rules prohibited participating clinics from providing abortion referrals and dictates a "clear financial and physical separation" between family planning services and abortion services.

The Trump administration's new policy could have an effect on all 4,000 of the country's Title X-funded facilities. Some states, including IL and Vermont, have said they would step in to replace lost federal funding.

Elsewhere, the impact could be substantial.

The more upsetting thing, she said, is that the Trump administration injected politics into a health care program that serves more than 4 million patients each year, about 1.5 million of them through Planned Parenthood.

Johnson said the organization will continue to fight the rule in court. "Wait times for appointments will skyrocket". In a letter to HHS, CEO George Hill said his group is leaving the program "more in sorrow than in anger".

Monday, the Vermont Department of Health announced it will use state funds that were set aside to ensure that these services can continue.

Planned Parenthood Arizona will have to pay a Phoenix woman $3 million as part of a wrongful termination lawsuit.

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