Trump administration bans abortion referrals at U.S.-funded clinics

Trump To Bar Family Planning Clinics From Abortion Referrals

Federally funded clinics barred from offering abortion help under new rule

ME medical providers who receive federal funds said impending federal prohibitions on what doctors can tell patients about reproductive care would jeopardize their ability to deliver that care.

"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".

On Friday, anti-abortion and religious groups applauded the move and praised the Trump administration for keeping a campaign promise.

"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", Dannenfelser said in a statement.

"The gag rule is unconscionable and unethical", Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement.

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Title X was born from President Richard Nixon's belief that unchecked population growth, particularly of poor minorities, represented "a global threat to humankind". It disburses portions to each of its 18 owner-operated health care centers.

How did Planned Parenthood respond?

The final rule released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department also would prohibit federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same locations as abortion providers, and require stricter financial separation.

"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. But what constitutes "family planning" has become a political point of contention.

The organization claims "thousands of people will be left with nowhere to turn for health care" because of the decision. Groups receiving money under the Title X program, which serves an estimated 4 million low-income women, were already prohibited from performing abortions with those funds.

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The Title X Family Planning Program was instituted during the Nixon administration to provide family planning and related health services. Almost 80 percent of those patients qualified for free or reduced fee services - numbers that suggest the program "is doing just what it's supposed to do", said Deirdre Fulton-McDonough, a spokeswoman for Maine Family Planning.

Referrals for abortion for emergency care, such as if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy - in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus and threaten her life - are also allowed. More often than not, talk with a patient considering abortion extends well beyond simply giving a referral. Make no mistake: Their goal is to ban all abortions at any stage of pregnancy.

Physicians like Jenkins would be barred under the new ruling from answering these questions posed even by patients not seriously considering an abortion.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement that "abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning - which is why the Title X program has no business funding it". However, clinics will have 120 days to comply with the requirement that family planning and abortion services are kept financially separated and a year to comply with the physical separation requirement.

"The majority of Americans-in both parties-support legal restrictions on abortion". She said the hard-line distinction between abortion service providers and Title X facilities is necessary to avoid inadvertently funding abortion providers simply by sharing facilities and company infrastructure.

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The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule took effect requiring "nondirective" counseling to include a full range of options for women.

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