Planned Parenthood announced Monday that it is pulling out of the Title X federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration uproxxing prohibiting participants from referring patients for abortions.
Pro-life groups heralded the abrupt decision as a major victory — and one that signaled that Planned Parenthood, contrary to its claims, is primarily a politically motivated abortion provider, not a healthcare organization.
The rule does not prohibit medical providers from discussing abortion with patients but prevents them from telling patients where they can obtain one. The rule’s requirements also include financial separation from facilities that provide abortion, designating abortion counseling as optional instead of standard practice, and limiting which staff members can discuss abortion with patients. Clinics would have until next March to separate their office space and examination rooms from the physical facilities of providers that offer abortions.
Planned Parenthood’s pullout followed a June order from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that lifted a nationwide injunction that had prevented the Trump administration from enforcing the new rule. The court’s three-judge panel, with two judges appointed by President Trump, is still weighing Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit to overturn the rule but has allowed the administration to begin enforcement — a sign that the administration will ultimately win on the merits.
Today, the Trump admin is forcing us out of the Title X program — our nation's program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40% of patients. This is a *direct attack* on Planned Parenthood and on our health and rights, and we will not stand for it. #StandWithPP #ProtectX pic.twitter.com/WRMvzGafNq
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) August 19, 2019
McGill Johnson promised that Planned Parenthood’s doors will remain open and that it will continue to provide contraception services, relying on “emergency” funding in the case of Title X patients.
“Using essentially fundraising for charity — what should be a state responsibility, a federal responsibility — […is] like holding an umbrella during a tsunami,” she said.
Several states have pledged to try to come up with new funding to replace the federal dollars. The impact is likely to vary state by state. In some parts of the country, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X grantee, and in some regions, the state acts as a grantee, with several subgrantees, including Planned Parenthood facilities and other healthcare providers.