- Planned Parenthood will lose funding from a federal program because of a new rule established by the Trump administration unless federal courts step in.
- The rule bars clinics in the Title X program, which provides family care for low-income Americans, from performing abortion procedures or referring patients for abortions.
- Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million from Title X each year. Without those funds, it will have to rely on other sources of income, like donations.
Planned Parenthood says it is being forced out of the country's only federal funding program for family planning due to a new rule implemented by the Trump administration, unless the courts intervene, Vox reports. The organization could leave the program, known as Title X, as early as Monday, August 19, according to a letter it sent to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today, asking it to block the Trump-era rule.
The new restriction bans Title X grant recipients from performing abortion procedures or referring patients for abortions. It says organizations that do so cannot use money from the program, which was established to help low-income Americans, to fund other family planning services like contraception, cancer screenings, and STD testing.
Let’s be clear: we refuse to put a gag on doctors and nurses. Keeping information from our patients about their options and their health care is NEVER acceptable, and we won’t stand by this assault on our health and rights. Learn more: https://t.co/S7sl3edydI #ProtectX— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) August 14, 2019
It was already illegal to use federal funding towards abortion procedures, but the new rule presents Planned Parenthood and similar health organizations with a tough choice: Receive Title X money and stop providing or referring abortions, or continue to offer abortions services but lose funding, which would make it harder to serve low-income communities.
Planned Parenthood has participated in Title X for almost 50 years, but it says it will exit the program by end of day Monday, the deadline to comply with the new rule, in order to continue to provide abortion care and counseling. The impact of the organization's exit "will vary state by state," acting president Alexis McGill Johnson told Vox in a statement, but it could mean that "too many people will delay or go without care."
The new Title X stipulation and Planned Parenthood's imminent separation is a win for anti-abortion supporters, especially those who argue that abortion providers shouldn't receive any federal funding. The restriction was first introduced last year but was finalized in March.
Planned Parenthood receives almost $60 million in Title X funding each year, per The Washington Post. Without the funding, the organization will take a major financial hit. Its clinics help 40 percent of the over 4 million Americans who depend on Title X for family planning services and resources like birth control and STI screenings, according to Vice. In the meantime, the organization will rely on other sources of funding, like donations, but Johnson told Vox that it's "unrealistic to think grants or private donations can replace a decades-old federal program."
Opponents of the rule say it violates laws mandating that Title X recipients get unbiased care. Planned Parenthood is suing Trump for this very reason.
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