ELIZABETH, NJ — Family planning clinics that receive federal funding will no longer be permitted by the Trump administration to provide abortion referrals. If they do not comply, they will lose their funding.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that it would begin enforcing the rule change after receiving the go-ahead from the 9th circuit court of appeals last month.
The restrictions apply to the Title X (Title 10) family-planning program, which is providing about $286 million in federal funding this year for birth control and reproductive care to low-income patients, including screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
“It’s a safety net program that helps low-income women, many of them women of color, and it’s a critical lifeline for nearly 4 million women nationwide. One million of them just in one state alone, in the state of California,” said CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Another requirement of the rule is that clinics that receive federal funding will not be allowed to share space with abortion providers, which will force them to transfer to new locations or undergo remodeling or shut down.
The Trump administration proposed the new regulation on May 22nd.
More than 20 states, including California and various organizations sued, calling the policy a “gag rule” that would harm patients. The appeals court agreed to reconsider the restrictions but they voted to keep the new regulations in place while they review the case.
“In California, the cost of this ruling would be staggering. For every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning programs, the government saves more than $7 dollars in Medicaid related cost. The potential growth public savings from preventing unintended pregnancies in California is estimated at more than $1.3 billion.”
Conservatives and anti-abortion advocates have praised the rules. They see the changes to the title 10 family planning program as a way to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which serves 40 percent of title ten patients.
Pro-life advocate Beatrice Torralba volunteers at hope center in Georgia.
She said there are other options for women besides Planned Parenthood.
“There are these pregnancy centers all throughout the country that women can go to to find out if they’re pregnant, get the free ultra-sound, the counseling, the support.”
During the Ronald Reagan administration, clinics were barred from even discussing abortion with women. President Bill Clinton rescinded that policy. The Trump administration has now made this as part of their efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health.