Trump signs law rolling back Planned Parenthood funding protection
- Author: Joanne Flowers Apr 15, 2017,
Apr 15, 2017, 19:40
The law does away with a rule brought in by Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, that prevented states from withholding money distributed under a "Title X" program that funded Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortion.
This move is the latest in a growing list of moves that are slowing chipping away at access to reproductive health care services.
"No health care provider should have to choose between providing basic reproductive health care and other vital public health services".
Under President Obama, Title X "family-planning grants" to states could not be denied to organizations on the basis of whether or not they performed abortions.
According to the New York Times, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions, though about half of locations do not provide them.
Currently, Texas receives Title X funds via one organization - the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas - which distributes a $14 million pot of money across 28 providers.
"This is insane. The national family planning program is the program through which millions of women get their access to basic family planning".
Abortion rights activists condemned the new law, arguing that it would harm women's health.
Since its introduction in 1970, the program has explicitly prohibited use of Title X funds to pay for abortions.
"States are closer to, and more familiar with, their health care providers and patients, and therefore, should be able to make their own decisions about the best eligible Title X providers - whether those are hospitals, community health centers, or other types of providers".
"People are sick and exhausted of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and this bill is just the latest example", she said.
But given the rhetoric surrounding Planned Parenthood in Congress, this effort isn't all that surprising. The family-planning resolution marked the 13th time it has been deployed effectively since the beginning of February, as well as the first time a resolution has come within a hair's breadth of failing.
Along with Trump's actions, comes a fresh push to restrict abortions in individual states, So far in the 2017 state legislative session, five states have approved major abortion restrictions and 28 legislatures are considering banning some of all abortions, the Post noted.
We could see up to $600 million in health care spending cuts, mostly Medicaid. But some who study family planning services think it is a hint at the future, at least in states that have tried to impose restrictions. "There are definitely some places that could be effected by this in a relatively important way".