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article imagePlanned Parenthood exits federal family planning program

By Karen Graham     Aug 20, 2019 in Politics
Planned Parenthood said Monday it's pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions.
In a conference call with news media, Planned Parenthood's new leader, Alexis McGill Johnson, announced all the health care clinic's affiliates would be sending letters to the Department of Health and Human Services Monday, formally announcing their withdrawal from the Title X program.
The Title X funding amounts to nearly $60 million, however, McGill Johnson said all the health centers would remain open and they would strive to make up for the loss of federal funding. She did warn that without Planned Parenthood, low-income women would struggle to find affordable birth control options.
"We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients," said McGill Johnson, according to CTV News Canada. "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."
Planned Parenthood and other health organizations say the "gag order" forces providers to withhold information, which interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and restricts the ability to discuss all options with patients.
Abortion supporters stand outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. ...
Abortion supporters stand outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 31, 2019, after a US Court announced the clinic, the last performing abortions in the state, could continue operating
SAUL LOEB, AFP
Title X was created in 1970 to provide affordable reproductive care to women who otherwise couldn't afford it. Last year alone, more than 4 million people relied on Title X for health care services, with Planned Parenthood accounting for 41 percent of the services.
Title X funds have never been authorized to pay for abortions. Instead, the money is used for wellness exams, STD and HIV screenings, birth control and contraceptive education, according to Planned Parenthood.
Trump's political base, Anti-abortion advocates and religious conservatives opposed to abortion are marking the enforcement of the Title X rule as a victory. The Trump administration has promoted family planning supported abstinence-based sex education and the unsuccessful push to allow employers to claim religious exemptions in order to avoid paying for birth control in health insurance plans.
Monday was the deadline set by the government for clinics to submit statements that they intended to comply with the new rules, along with a plan. Enforcement will start Sept. 18. The Trump administration has also made it possible for faith-based organizations opposed to abortion to receive Title X grants.
More about Planned parenthood, title 10 program, Trump, Abortions, Trump administration
 
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