The Trump administration issued a rule through the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday to limit federal funding for health clinics that provide abortion referrals and services.
The rule makes changes to the Title X Public Health Service Act by prohibiting abortion as a method of family planning and preventing Title X funds from being distributed to providers who maintain this practice. Proponents of the rule disagree with taxpayer money being used to support clinics like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals or services.
Along with the financial separation, the rule demands a separation in physical space for providers of reproductive health services and clinics that provide abortion referrals or services. “The optics and practical operation of two distinct services within a single collocated space do not sufficiently create the separation Congress intended when it said Title X funds cannot be spent ‘where’ abortion is a method of family planning.”
Critics of the new rule have argued that this specifically targets well-known reproductive health providers like Planned Parenthood and undercuts women’s ability, especially low-income women, to receive adequate health services like mammograms, birth control, and cancer screenings.
The new rule proposes a 60-day public notice period, and court challenges are expected before the rule takes effect.