Trump lets states block some Planned Parenthood money

Violet Powell
April 15, 2017

As previously reported on The Root, Trump signed legislation on Thursday that erases former President Barack Obama's rule that blocked states from withholding federal Title X funding from women's organizations that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood. The bill reverses a rule the Obama administration issued late a year ago to protect funding for Planned Parenthood.

In a signing ceremony that was closed to the press, Trump signed the resolution permitting states to withhold federal funding from facilities that provide abortions.

Vice President Mike Pence, in his constitutional role as president of the Senate, cast the tiebreaking vote.

About 1.5 million Planned Parenthood patients benefit from Title X funds, according to the group, 78 percent of whom live with incomes of 150 percent of the federal poverty level and roughly one-third of whom are either Latino or African American.

"That is just not going to happen", Richards told the New York Times .

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"Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and by signing this bill, President Trump disregards their health and well-being", said Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president and chief executive officer of the Planned Parenthood League of MA and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of MA. She pushed for Congress to take up more legislation to strip Planned Parenthood and abortion providers of other federal funds like Medicaid reimbursements.

Although the law does not go as far as some conservatives would like, Dr. Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, said it is far from trivial. She said the law "simply ensures that states are not forced to fund an abortion business with taxpayer dollars".

But given the rhetoric surrounding Planned Parenthood in Congress, this effort isn't all that surprising. "Rather, states have the option to spend Title X money on comprehensive health care clinics that better serve women and girls", she said. As a middle ground, Mr. Trump has proposed preserving federal funding for Planned Parenthood if it stops providing abortion services.

"With a pro-life president in the White House and pro-life majorities in the House and Senate, we will continue to work together this year to undo the damage done by the Obama administration", the women write. The publication later noted that "since Title X money is distributed through grants to states, they have the power to set criteria for recipients". Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and Planned Parenthood of San Antonio are the only two affiliates of the organization that now receive Title X funding.

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