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Trump keeps vow to cut federal funds for Planned Parenthood. Pelosi calls ‘outrageous assault’ a ‘domestic gag rule’

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President Donald Trump’s latest blow to federal funding for Planned Parenthood was met with harsh criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The California Democrat slammed the Trump administration’s change in Title X funding on Friday as an “outrageous assault” on women’s health care and effectively a “domestic gag rule.”

(Image: screenshot)

“The Trump Administration’s Gag Rule strikes a staggering blow to women’s basic health rights,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This outrageous assault on the health care of vulnerable and underserved women and families would choke off their access to affordable contraception, critical health information and preventive health care, gravely undermining the health and strength of America.”

Clinics will no longer be eligible for Title X Family Planning funds if they are connected with abortion providers according to the new rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to The Hill:

That means clinics couldn’t share space or staff with abortion facilities. Clinics would also be banned from referring women for abortions or counseling them on abortion as an option to end pregnancy.

This could disqualify many of Planned Parenthood’s 600 centers across the country, which receives about a quarter of Title X funds annually to provide reproductive health and preventive services to low-income women.

 

Pelosi argued that Title X is the “only federal grant initiative dedicated to providing family planning services to low-income and otherwise under-served individuals.”

Other Democrats and liberals supporting the killing of babies chimed in.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told The Hill that the women’s health organization could not “participate in a program that would force our health care providers to compromise our ethics.”

“We have fought many times before against countless attacks, and we will fight back again,” Wen added.

The organization fired back against the ruling in a statement 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 designed to ensure that people struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the 4 million people in the Title X program; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.”

With several late-term abortion bills recently being considered or passed in state legislatures, the debate has increasingly become heated on both sides of the aisle. And while American Medical Association President Barbara McAneny called the new ruling a “wrong prescription,” pro-life groups applauded the decision.

“The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List, said, according to The Hill. “The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide health care to women but do not perform abortions.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise echoed the sentiment.

“The Title X Program was never intended to subsidize abortion providers. During the Clinton administration, this program was distorted and Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers started receiving millions of taxpayer dollars,” the Louisiana Republican said in a statement, according to The Daily Caller.

“Since President Trump took office, we have made great strides toward defending the sanctity of life. With today’s decision by the Trump administration, we are finally starting to see the end to federally-funded taxpayer abortions,” Scalise said.

Others who value the sanctity of life also applauded Trump’s latest effort to preserve an protect the lives of unborn children.

Pelosi, however, called on Republicans to “end their relentless assault on women’s health care and rights.”

“The American people delivered a Congress that would protect their affordable, comprehensive health care, and our new Democratic Majority will be tireless in our defense of every American’s right to comprehensive, quality health care,” she declared in her statement.

But the administration pushed back, noting that funds going to clinics that support abortions are not affected unless they are from federal sources and denied that the rule would “exacerbate health inequalities or harm patient care.”

“The Department anticipates that the rule, overall, will contribute to more clients being served and gaps in services being closed,” the administration said of the rule which will be redirecting funding to faith-based organizations, which overwhelmingly do not support the procedure.

“[The change] protects Title X health care providers so that they are not required to choose between participating in the program and violating their own consciences by providing abortion counseling and referral,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Frieda Powers

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