Trump officials weigh delay of abortion curbs

Henrietta Brewer
July 22, 2019

According to a public policy analysis published by the Guttmacher Institute, federally qualified health centers "are an integral part of the publicly funded family planning effort in the United States, but it is unrealistic to expect these sites to serve the millions of women who now rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for high-quality contraceptive care". Dr. Wen said in a Twitter post July 16 her ouster had been decided at a "secret meeting", despite "good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood".

According to NPR, Planned Parenthood says it will use "emergency funds" to continue to provide abortion referral services.

Governor J.B. Pritzker's announcement came a month after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the administration to cut off Title X subsidies of reproductive healthcare and family planning costs for low-income women at clinics that refer patients to abortion providers.

WASHINGTON | The Trump administration has told federally funded family planning clinics it is considering a delay in enforcing a controversial rule that bars them from referring women for abortions. Clinics that provide "nondirective counseling" about abortion may still receive funds. Planned Parenthood presently receives about one-fifth of the total amount of Title X funds distributed and serves about 40 percent of all clients who benefit from Title X. "But if a Title X healthcare provider refers, provides or even references abortion services, then they wouldn't be able to be part of the Title X program".

The Department of Health and Human Services Department will also require clinics to maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortion.

The rule is being challenged in federal court, but the administration says there is now no legal obstacle to enforcing it, ABC News reports.

Ameri Klafeta, a staff attorney at the IL chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the change in regulations is significant for family planning providers in the state, especially Planned Parenthood.

HHS received $4.1 million in Title X funds in April to disburse to nearly 70 service sites, many of which are Planned Parenthood affiliates, The Hill reports.

Title X is a federal program created in 1965 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families.

IL is one of 21 states challenging the constitutionality of the new regulation.

In the meantime, Pritzer said, the Illinois Department of Public Health will provide funding to the state's 28 Title X recipients to make up for the estimated $2.4 million in federal dollars they stand to lose under the administration's rule.

The long-scheduled conference that ended Friday was the department's first for federally funded family planning organizations since 2015, and participants said Foley told them that "she, too, had very little notice" that family planning organizations would be being expected to comply with the new rules immediately.

Planned Parenthood is in the midst of a leadership upheaval, after its board abruptly ousted the organization's president this week.

An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016. In her resignation letter, she said the organization's board has determined the top priority should be to "double down on abortion rights advocacy". Political organizer Alexis McGill Johnson has been named as acting president.

Other reports by iNewsToday