Trump to bar abortions at facilities receiving federal funds

Trump to bar abortions at facilities receiving federal funds

Trump to bar abortions at facilities receiving federal funds

While federal law now prohibits money received through the Title X Family Planning Grant Program from being used for abortion, pro-life advocates have long voiced concern that this regulation is not always enforced.

But conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressing Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary, to further tighten the rules so that abortions could not occur - or be performed by the same staff - at locations that receive Title X federal family planning money.

Under current law, federal funding for abortions is prohibited in most cases.

The policy has been derided as a "gag rule" by abortion rights supporters and medical groups, and it is likely to trigger lawsuits that could keep it from taking effect.

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The Title 10 program offers hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to family planning organizations. There are already laws in place that prevent federal money from directly funding abortions, but groups like Planned Parenthood still accept federal dollars for services like annual screenings and checkups.

Abortion rights advocates also argue that the new rules could result in women not receiving reproductive health care at all, leading to more unintended pregnancies and higher mortality rates.

Dr. Hal Lawrence, the executive vice president and chief executive of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said during that call, "We don't need the government interfering in the exam room, and the government should not be interfering in what women can know and what kind of options she should be given".

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But Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America said, "Abortion is not health care or birth control and many women want natural health care choices, rather than hormone-induced changes".

White House officials say "the proposal would require a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning".

The new rule is based off a regulation issued by President Ronald Reagan, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, but was later reversed by President Bill Clinton.

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