Published: Sat, February 23, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Donald Trump Administration: Abortion Is Not Family Planning

Donald Trump Administration: Abortion Is Not Family Planning

Known as Title X, the family-planning programme serves about four million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Reproductive rights advocates are calling this a "domestic gag rule", an allusion to a long-standing Republican worldwide policy known as the "global gag rule" (or Mexico City Policy) prohibiting USA -supported family planning money from going to organizations that perform or promote abortion services.

Praised by religious conservatives, the policy is bound to be challenged in court by pro-choice advocates. Formally known as the Protect Life Rule, this resembles a similar "gag rule" that already applies to federal funds allocated to reproductive health organizations operating overseas.

"Planned Parenthood will fight the Trump-Pence administration through every avenue so this illegal, unethical rule never goes into effect", Dr. Wen, said on a Friday conference call with reporters.

Last year, as attorney general, Mills joined states across the country in a lawsuit attempting to block the Trump administration from making such changes to Title X.

For Teresa McCann-Tumidajski, executive director of Maine Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, this change "makes common sense".

"When congressional action lagged, we worked with the administration on securing this decisive executive action", she said.

President Trump has embraced pro-life politics since beginning his 2016 campaign, and anti-abortion evangelicals flocked to vote for him.

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Planned Parenthood serves about 40 percent of Title X patients and provides both abortions (at some of its clinics) and referrals to abortion providers as part of its family planning and reproductive health services.

Critics of the rule, Politico reported, contend it will amount to a "domestic gag rule" that prohibits health care providers counseling patients on all of their "reproductive choices".

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, an organization that could be most affected by the new HHS rule responded on Friday, "The administration has put health care providers like Planned Parenthood in an impossible position: withhold information from patients or get pushed out of a program created to ensure that people struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care". They will also replace a 2016 rule that placed restrictions on states and others entities receiving Title X funding.

It's a shame that the federal Title X family planning program has been co-mingled with abortion ever since President Bill Clinton issued regulations not only removing the wall of separation President Reagan issued, but even illegally requiring groups to refer for abortion.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called it "a major step toward the ultimate goal of ending taxpayers' forced partnership with the abortion industry". It's not official until it appears in the Federal Register and the department said there could be "minor editorial changes". Her organization is a political advocacy group that backs anti-abortion candidates.

Moreover, clinics will not be allowed to promote abortion as a family planning method.

"This rule intentionally strikes at the heart of the patient-provider relationship, inserting political ideology into a family planning visit, which will frustrate and ultimately discourage patients from seeking the health care they need", Clare Coleman, head of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement.

Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, a Republican who has served as co-chair of the House pro-life caucus, celebrated the Trump administration's new rule.

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