The Trump administration has made a decision, effective immediately, to alter and altogether bar family planning funds to groups that perform or refer women for abortion services.
In an announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services, the department is now requiring compliance with a Title X gag rule. This rule bans healthcare providers in Title X programs from providing patients with complete and medically accurate information about their sexual and reproductive health care options, including how and where to access abortion care.
“Once again the Trump-Pence administration is playing political games with our basic human rights. Our patients’ lives are too important to let dangerous rules like the Title X gag rule go unchallenged,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
This new rule will result in millions of people losing access to health care and information and may even force some states and organizations to abandon the federal program that pays for contraception for disproportionately disadvantaged communities of color as well as low-income communities.
The New York Times reported that Planned Parenthood receives almost $60 million each year through Title X, and the decision is seen as an aimed attack at the organization.
“Our doors remain open,” Cowart said, “and our commitment to our patients is strong as ever. We will not accept a world in which healthcare providers are censored and patients are cheated out of the care and information they deserve.”
Additionally, faith-based groups that oppose abortion and hormonal birth control are now eligible for funding under the new rules.
With the current administration cutting funds and programs that allow organizations like Planned Parenthood to provide abortion services to patients, it is clear that reproductive rights continue to be a political issue. This is the reason why, after less than one year, newly appointed director Dr. Leana Wen was released from her position.
Having joined the organization in November of 2018, Wen found herself at odds with the board of directors, and it was announced in July 16 that she had parted ways with the nonprofit.
The group’s board voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint Alexis McGill Johnson, the co-founder of the Perception Institute, an anti-bias research group, to temporarily replace Dr. Wen.
As the administration continues to focus on attacking queer and womxn’s rights, organizations like Planned Parenthood continue to march on. Planned Parenthood, which serves more than 40 percent of the nation’s Title X patients, confirmed it won’t comply with the new rules. The group said its clinics will start using their own emergency funds while it continues to fight the administration in court, Politico reported.