Trump Blocks Some Funding to Abortion Providers

Lauren Perry
April 15, 2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a resolution that will allow USA states to restrict how federal funds for contraception and reproductive health are spent, a move cheered by anti-abortion campaigners.

According to the New York Times, the law reverses a measure issued under the Obama administration that prevented local and state governments from withholding Title X family planning grants from such healthcare providers for any reason other than a provider's inability to effectively deliver services. It does, however, fund birth control, cancer screenings, and STD tests.

Using the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to repeal recently minted regulations, senators killed a rule meant to keep federal grants flowing to clinics that provide contraception and other services in states that want to block the funding.

Vice President Mike Pence had all but sealed the deal on March 30, when he cast the deciding vote both in a procedural vote and in the final vote landing the bill on Trump's desk. Planned Parenthood relies on Medicaid reimbursements and Title X funding - the funding that states can pull under Trump's order.

"This puts an end to the outgoing gift that Obama gave the Trump administration", Dannenfelser said.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, and Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, attended the bill signing.

One more time for the people in the back - federal funds can't be used to pay for abortions except in specific, extenuating circumstances. The Obama regulations would have protected Planned Parenthood from one of the Republicans' many unpopular attempts to defund their organization.

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On the other hand, we spoke to Casey Olesko of Planned Parenthood New Jersey who says this is just another assault on women's rights by President Trump.

Title X provides federal family planning funds to grantees in each state, which then allocate the funds to providers in their states.

Alabama's Planned Parenthood chapters will not be affected by a potential withholding of federal funding authorized by President Donald Trump Thursday.

Roughly 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's operating budget - about $536 million - relies on federal dollars.

The 100-year-old institution operates 661 clinics providing health services to 2.5 million patients every year, many of who are low income. Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily's List, attacked the bill as an example of politicians chipping away at woman's rights and making it harder for the less fortunate to get health care.

But Thomas agrees with Laguens that if Planned Parenthood were to be defunded, there would be grave consequences.

"The best way to reduce the number of abortions or unintended pregnancies is to fund access to family planning services", Thomas said.

Other reports by VgToday

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