The Trump administration is expected to announce on Friday a new rule banning clinics that provide abortions from receiving federal funding, The New York Times reported. The rule would deal a significant blow to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide both abortions and women’s healthcare.
From the Times:
The policy would be a return to one instituted in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan that required abortion services to have a “physical separation” and “separate personnel” from other family planning activities. That policy is often described as a domestic gag rule because it barred caregivers at facilities that received family planning funds from providing any information to patients about an abortion or where to receive one.
There’s already a long-standing prohibition in place against directly funding organizations that conduct abortion services with federal Title X family planning program money. But this new rule would cut off that funding to women’s health providers who also perform abortions.
This change would disproportionately impact low-income and uninsured women, who depend on free and affordable women’s health clinics. Last year, the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts research on reproductive health policy, put out a report outlining the importance of Title X funding for young and low-income women. It found that without Title X-supported services, rates of unintended and teen pregnancy would rise considerably.
The result of this new rule won’t be to cut down on abortions or make women healthier—we already know what happens when states cut off access to clinics like Planned Parenthood. A 2016 study from the National Institutes of Health found that, after Texas cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood in 2013, it led to “adverse changes in contraceptive provision, continuation, and Medicaid-paid deliveries.”
Defunding Planned Parenthood has become a staple position for the GOP’s conservative base, as GOP-controlled states across the country have been waging war against the women’s health organization. Earlier this month, Iowa passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country. The law, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, bans off abortion after just six weeks—before many women even realize they’re pregnant.
Right now, anti-abortion crusaders are winning their war to restrict women’s ability to choose when and how they have children—and this White House is willing to help them.