New Trump Policy Prohibits Abortion Referrals at Family Planning Clinics

An update to Title X, the new policy is not official until entered into the Federal Register.

The Trump administration on Friday issued a rule prohibiting family planning clinics that receive federal funding from referring women for abortions – a move aimed at stemming the flow of taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.

Released by Health and Human Services, the long-anticipated update to the Title X program states that taxpayer-funded family planning clinics be in separate locations and maintain separate finances from abortion providers. Title X is the federal program that provides low-income people with access to birth control and reproductive health care.

The updated rule does not prohibit clinics from counseling on abortion, but it eliminates the requirement that federally funded providers offer abortion counseling and referral.

The new rule, according to HHS, "protects Title X healthcare providers so that they are not required to choose between participating in the program and violating their own consciences."

Praised by religious conservatives, the policy is bound to be challenged in court by pro-choice advocates. Dr. Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood, called the new policy an "attack on Title X" and the organization said the rule would make it "impossible" for many Title X clinics to continue participating in the program..

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, called the new rule a "decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood.".

Although the policy was published Friday, it's not official until it appears in the Federal Register, and changes may be made before that occurs..

According to HHS, Title X serves 4 million people a year and the new rule "seeks to ensure a holistic and health-centered approach."

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