WASHINGTON — Health clinics that provide abortion services will no longer be entitled to receive federal family planning funding, according to a rule issued by the Trump administration on Friday.
A statement issued by the Department of Health and Human Services about the “Final Title X Rule Detailing Family Planning Grant Program” says that the program requires “clear financial and physical separation between Title X funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The rule also prohibits “referral for abortion as a method of family planning,” removing the requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling.
Several public policy and women’s health groups fired back in a series of statements condemning the rule.
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue said the rule “creates a country where a culture of forced silence dominates over women’s health, barring them from accessing the essential care they deserve … where women can’t continue to visit their trusted providers for healthcare … where doctors will be forced to hide information from patients.”
A statement by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning public policy research and advocacy organization, called it “the Trump-Pence domestic gag rule.”
“It is disturbing and hypocritical to see this administration promote smaller government, and yet, when it comes to women’s health, it is quick to force itself into the exam room and dictate what providers can tell their patients,” Jamila Taylor, senior fellow of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative, said in a statement.
Clare Coleman, president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said that this “will do irreparable harm to the public’s health and damage the network of highly qualified family planning providers across the country.”
The Washington Post stated that Planned Parenthood, which serves about 41% of Title X patients and receives $60 million from the program, will not accept funds under this new rule because “it would compromise its ethical obligations to patients.”
The Post noted that this law is expected to be challenged in court, and has received criticism from Democratic members of Congress. Much of the $286 million federal family planning program is expected to be redirected toward “faith-based providers,” the Post added.