WASHINGTON D.C. – The Trump administration just issued a proposal to deny Planned Parenthood funding through Title X, the marquee federal program that provides family planning services to low-income women. It’s the most concrete step that the administration has taken to limit abortion access since President Trump’s inauguration.
“Since day one, the Trump administration, along with its anti-abortion and anti-contraception allies, has made it clear that they want to undermine and restrict people’s access to family planning care,” wrote Kinsey Hasstedt, a Senior Policy Manager at the Guttmacher Institute, in an email to CBS News.
Title X was created to provide affordable reproductive care to women who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Last year, more than four million people relied on Title X for health care services, 41 percent of which received services at Planned Parenthood, according to a the health clinic.
Title X funds have never been authorized to pay for abortions, Hasstedt said. Instead, the money is used for wellness exams, STD and HIV screenings, birth control and contraceptive education, according to Planned Parenthood.
Anti-abortion rights advocates argue that any money given to Planned Parenthood – even if it’s not used for abortions – frees up funding to be used for the procedure.
Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to President Trump, commented on the proposal to reporters on Friday afternoon, saying clinics that provide women’s health services should be “physically separate and financially separate” from those that provide abortions.
She claimed the rule wouldn’t impact low-income women’s access to medical services because there were “18 to 20 community health clinics that serve women but don’t provide abortions for every one Planned Parenthood in the country.”
The proposed rule won’t be effective until it’s been posted in the Federal Register and 60 days have passed, unless courts intervene.
“We fully expect that lawsuits challenging the rule and seeking to stop its implementation will be filed before those 60 days pass,” Hasstedt said.
By Kate Smith – CBS News