Trump Signs Law Giving States Option To Deny Funding For Planned Parenthood

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard kicked off her statewide Town Hall Tour in Kona on Tuesday April 11

President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that is created to give states the authority to withhold federal funds to organizations that provide certain medical services for women.

Mr. Trump has made restricting abortions a priority during his early days in office.

If federal funds do dry up, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson says state lawmakers have a chance to protect funding by reallocating state Medicaid dollars.

As The Post notes, abortions are barred under federal law, which is why Title X funding does not pay for abortions. The reasoning was that those providers also often offer services like contraception and screenings for sexually transmitted infections, and under the Obama-era rule, states could only deny providers the grants if they could not actually provide family planning services.

Experts also point out that if Planned Parenthood clinics are shuttered or restricted, there simply aren't enough other clinics to meet demand for things like contraceptive care, which forms a large portion of Planned Parenthood's operations.

As Julie Rovner notes for our Shots blog, Planned Parenthood obtains about $60 million annually from Title X, and in the group's most recent annual report, its affiliates received $553.7 million total from federal, state and local governments - or, about half its total funding.

But given the rhetoric surrounding Planned Parenthood in Congress, this effort isn't all that surprising. Other videos have exposed Planned Parenthood's claim of providing prenatal services and demonstrated that ultrasounds are used nearly exclusively for abortion.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, and Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, attended the bill signing.

When the Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction of House Republicans, refused to support legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act last month, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to denounce the group, saying it had "saved Planned Parenthood".

The order overturns a regulation put into effect by President Barack Obama that said states couldn't stop money meant for family planning services, the Associated Press reported.

Despite the president's action, supporters of Planned Parenthood are still celebrating the GOP's failure to pass a replacement for the ACA. "Planned Parenthood strongly opposes President Trump's willingness to undermine millions of women's access to birth control through the Title X family planning program".

Some states have already reaffirmed their commitment to Planned Parenthood, maintaining they will continue fund the clinics even if Congress won't.

"States are closer to, and more familiar with, their health care providers and patients, and therefore, should be able to make their own decisions about the best eligible Title X providers - whether those are hospitals, community health centers, or other types of providers".

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