Trump to deny funds to clinics that refer for abortion

The Trump administration will resurrect a Reagan-era rule banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers.

Posted: May 18, 2018 2:50 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will resurrect a Reagan-era rule banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers.

The Department of Health and Human Services will announce its proposal Friday, a senior White House official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the release.

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. However, it's guaranteed to galvanize activists on both sides of the abortion debate going into the congressional midterm elections.

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the Susan B. Anthony List's "campaign for life" gala on Tuesday night. The group works to elect candidates who want to reduce and ultimately end abortion. It says it spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton and promote a "pro-life Senate."

The Reagan-era rule barred family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled that it was an appropriate use of executive power. The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule went into effect that required "nondirective" counseling to include a full range of options for women.

According to a Trump administration summary, the new proposal will roll back the Clinton requirement that abortion should be discussed as an option along with prenatal care and adoption.

Known as Title X, the nation's family-planning program serves about 4 million women a year through clinics, at a cost to taxpayers of about $260 million.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but by law federal family planning funds cannot be used to pay for abortion procedures.

Abortion opponents say a taxpayer-funded family planning program should have no connection to abortion. Doctors' groups and abortion rights supporters say a ban on counseling women trespasses on the doctor-patient relationship.

"This is an attempt to take away women's basic rights, period," said Dawn Laguens, a senior Planned Parenthood executive. She hinted at possible legal action to try to block the Trump administration move, saying, "we will not stand by while our basic health care and rights are stripped away."

"I cannot imagine a scenario in which public health groups would allow this effort to go unchallenged," said Jessica Marcella of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents family planning clinics.

Marcella said requiring clinics to be physically separate from facilities in which abortion is provided is impractical, and would disrupt services for women across the country.

But abortion opponents said Trump is merely reaffirming the core mission of the family planning program.

"The new regulations will draw a bright line between abortion centers and family planning programs, just as...federal law requires and the Supreme Court has upheld," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a key voice for religious conservatives.

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."

Abortion opponents allege the federal family planning program in effect cross-subsidizes abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood, whose clinics are also major recipients of grants for family planning and basic preventive care. Hawkins' group is circulating a petition to urge lawmakers in Congress to support the Trump administration's proposal.

A Trump administration overview of the proposal says it's not a "gag rule." It "will not prohibit counseling for clients about abortion...but neither will it include the current mandate that (clinics) must counsel and refer for abortion," said the administration document.

Abortion rights supporters suggest that's a distinction without a difference, since the ban on referring a woman for an abortion could amount to overriding the judgment of medical professionals. They also say women will have no guarantee of getting a full review of all their options.

Planned Parenthood clinics also qualify for Title X grants, but they must keep the family-planning money separate from funds used to pay for abortions. The Republican-led Congress has unsuccessfully tried to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood, and the Trump administration has vowed to religious and social conservatives that it would keep up the effort.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 30°
Kokomo
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Rensselaer
Mostly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 30°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 30°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 26°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 26°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 28°
Mild Conditions Continue Wednesday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events