Trump officials weigh delay of abortion rule

Abebe Shibru Marie Stopes International Country Director for Zimbabwe in Harare Jan 23 2018. Marie Stopes used to treat 150,000 women a year but that is cut in half because of funding problems including President Donald Trump's expansion of the glob

Abebe Shibru Marie Stopes International Country Director for Zimbabwe in Harare Jan 23 2018. Marie Stopes used to treat 150,000 women a year but that is cut in half because of funding problems including President Donald Trump's expansion of the glob

Hawaii officials say they are prepared to maintain women's health services in the state as the Trump administration orders taxpayer-funded family planning clinics to stop both referring patients for abortion services and discussing the topic with them.

Two people who attended meetings this week between the Department of Health and Human Services and clinic representatives told The Associated Press that officials said they might be willing to allow more time to comply. Planned Parenthood presently receives about one-fifth of the total amount of Title X funds distributed and serves about 40 percent of all clients who benefit from Title X.

Planned Parenthood operates 17 clinics in IL, said Julie Lynn, a spokeswoman for the state organization. Clinics that need the funding would work with the state Department of Health to get the money released.

At least two other states, Maryland and MA, took similar pre-emptive countermeasures months ago, enacting legislation to temporarily opt out of Title X if the new rule takes effect, and to provide state funding in its place.

Wen said she faced pressure from a new Board of Directors to prioritize doubling down on abortion rights advocacy rather than emphasizing the organization's "role in providing essential health care to millions of underserved women and families".

Pritzker, a Democrat, said the state would forgo all Title X funding from the federal government while the Republican administration continues to impose its restriction - decried by critics as a "gag rule" created to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options. The clinics also provide basic health services, including screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

"We will not let that stand in the state of Illinois", Pritzker said.

An independent family planning provider in ME announced that it too would continue to refer for abortions and eschew federal funding.

Laquan McDonald murder: Four Chicago police fired for alleged police shooting coverup
In a separate case, a judge found three other Chicago police officers not guilty of covering up details of McDonald's killing. The Illinois Supreme Court denied a bid by the state's attorney general and a special prosecutor to resentence Van Dyke.

"While I'm committed to bringing as many federal dollars to the state as possible, I refuse to sacrifice our values and allow vital care to lapse", the governor said in a statement Thursday.

Leana Wen, a physician, had sought to reposition Planned Parenthood as a health care provider.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

As a new regulation takes effect, barring Title X recipients from making abortion referrals, Planned Parenthood has reportedly made a decision to forego the federal funds in order to continue directing women to abortion. Clinics that provide "nondirective counseling" about abortion may still receive funds.

"We are not going to comply with a regulation that would require health care providers to not give full information to their patients", Jacqueline Ayers, the group's top lobbyist, said Tuesday as reported by ABC News. That organization specifically, she said, administers "very high quality, affordable reproductive health care".

Mary Kate Knorr is director of Illinois Right to Life.

Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions and other health services for women under Title X, has already said it would likewise reject Title X money under the new rules, relying instead on private donations and emergency funds to make up the difference. The organization has argued that community health centers would be unable to absorb its patients if Planned Parenthood were forced out of business.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.