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Trump sets up abortion obstacles, barring clinic referrals

President Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, May 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has set up new obstacles for women seeking abortions, barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals.

The new policy is certain to be challenged in court.

The final rule released Friday (Feb. 22) by the Health and Human Services Department also prohibits federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same locations as abortion providers and requires stricter financial separation. Clinic staff will still be permitted to discuss abortion with clients.

The move was decried by women’s groups and praised by religious conservatives, but it could be some time before women served by the federal family program feel the full impact.

Women’s groups, organizations representing the clinics and Democrat-led states are expected to sue to block the policy from going into effect. Administration officials told abortion opponents on a call Friday that they expect legal action, according to a participant.

Planned Parenthood, whose affiliates are major providers of family planning services as well as abortions, said the administration is trying to impose a “gag rule,” and the organization launched a full campaign to block it.

“We’re going to fight this rule through every possible avenue,” said Emily Stewart, the organization’s vice president for policy.

Planned Parenthood and other groups representing the clinics say the new requirements for physical separation of facilities would be all but impossible to fulfill. Planned Parenthood said the administration action is another attempt to drive it out of business, after efforts to deny it funding failed in Congress.

Religious conservatives said the administration’s policy is a major step toward breaking down what they see as an indirect taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called it “a major step toward the ultimate goal of ending taxpayers’ forced partnership with the abortion industry.”

The regulation was published Friday on an HHS website. It’s not official until it appears in the Federal Register and the department said there could be “minor editorial changes.” A department official confirmed it was the final version.

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 40 percent of all clients. The grant program costs taxpayers about $260 million a year.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

An umbrella group representing family planning clinics also decried the administration’s decision.

“This rule intentionally strikes at the heart of the patient-provider relationship, inserting political ideology into a family planning visit, which will frustrate and ultimately discourage patients from seeking the health care they need,” Clare Coleman, head of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement.

Although abortion remains politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly, from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 in 2014. Better contraception, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions may have played a role, according to a recent scientific report. Polls show most Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

(Crary reported from New York.)

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David Crary

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Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

91 Comments

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  • Until they land in state custody as wards subjected to the whims of privatized profit driven group homes.

  • This from the same administration that works to restrict the availability of Food Stamps. So, I guess that wealthy people will not care one ways or another, because they don’t depend on gov’t funded sources for abortion referrals. Poor people, ,meanwhile, are not to get abortions, but neither are they to get help feeding their children. So, access to contraception will be restricted and fetuses are going to be saved, so that actual children can suffer from malnutrition. Interesting,,,,

  • yes. I have. I’ve read many testimonies where they lived. I’ve also read many testimonies where babies they say are going to die, actually live

  • no one is impressed by your anecdotal evidence collected en on the internet and from lectures by charlatans.

  • A minor issue if everyone would practice safe sex as abortion considerations would be reduced by 90%!!!!

  • A woman denied an abortion when she needs one to live has been murdered.

    And spare me your “baby killer” cliche I believe abortion should be safe legal and rare same as Carl Sagan.

  • The reality is that safe sex has already reduced unwanted pregnancies by 90% Another reality is that you are never going to get a hundred percent of the people to practice safe sex, especially over heated teenagers.

  • Safe sex?

    Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few
    examples)
    Some examples

    Method……………..Typical

    Pill (combined)……… 8.7 (resulting in ~one millon unplanned pregnancies)
    Tubal sterilization ……0.7
    Male condom ……….17.4 (resulting in ~one million unplanned pregnancies)
    Vasectomy…………… 0.2
    Implant…………………1.0

    IUD (Copper-T)……….1.0

    Data based on Guttmacher statistics

    (Masturbation mono or dual)………. 0

    (Abstinence) 0

  • Thank you for all the exciting images. I am an old man, I think I will go and have some more abstinence.

  • Of course the new rules for clinic operation have nothing to health and safety. It’s all about trying to shore up support from fetus worshipers. Especially in light of recent debacles by the administration.

  • 100% of abortions are none of your business as you carry 0% of the physical burdens of a pregnancy. Makes no difference whether you approve of it or not. It’s not your choice to ever make .

  • Still isn’t. But they are creating blocks to access which are illegal. If this was such a good idea, why isn’t it introduced as legislation?

  • Still isn’t. But they are creating blocks to access which are illegal. If this was such a good idea, why isn’t it introduced as legislation?

  • God bless Donald Trump!
    Protecting the innocent from the likes of N.Y. and VA democrats who are no different then the Nazi’s at Auchwitz.

  • This would theoretically just make that distinction sharper. Its not really possible to entirely separate funds for health care from abortion services if the funds still keep the same clinic open and operating.

  • Not at all. It is a “backdoor” abortion ban and entirely intended as one.

    One meant to interfere with the relationship between medical professionals and their patients for strictly political ends.

    ” Its not really possible to entirely separate funds for health care from abortion services if the funds still keep the same clinic open and operating.”

    The Hyde Amendment is nearly 30 years old. It has been complied with since its inception. Since we are talking about referrals, it means the same clinics are not performing abortion services. Your issue here is fictional.

  • Nope. Babies are still born. A fetus is not. No babies are harmed in abortions.

    Why does fetus worship involve lying so often and obviously?

  • Democrats want to kill fetuses outside the womb; after the mother gives birth.
    Why do democrats worship death?
    Why are democrats racist?
    Why do democrats sexually assault women?
    Shame.

  • Because according to you, a woman and her womb are property of the state. So as a taxpayer you have a say in the control of the property of the state. Thank you for proving my argument on the immorality of fetus worship.

    This has nothing to do with how taxes are used. The Hyde Amendment still exists. No taxpayer money is going towards abortion. We are talking about referrals to other medical facilities.

    “Funny how you didn’t address the 2% statistic”

    1. Because it is probably false anyway. Without a citation to an outside source your word is worthless
    2. Because it is irrelevant. S1utshaming is not a valid reason for reducing anyone to the status of property that you seek. You are not concerned with life of any type. This is only about control. Fetus worshipers are immoral liars by nature.

  • That was stupid. Typical fetus worshiper hyperbole.

    Not buying it. You are hardly concerned with lives born or unborn. Its just an excuse to act like a horse’s posterior and troll incessantly.

  • Nope. Democrats are proud to kill. Just like the nazis.
    The unborn have no value just as the nazis believed the Jews had no value.
    It’s a shame we can’t learn from our mistakes.

  • Aww you are left with flinging insults. Because you have such an immoral and dishonest position.

    So why do Republicans make excuses for their murderers, racists and rapists? Because they love those things. I haven’t seen a Democrat make such excuses.

    Republicans actively try to attack the lives of people in a variety of ways but somehow expect to be taken seriously for their ENTIRELY FICTITIOUS concern for the unborn?

    Nope. Its all about the s1utshaming and turning women into property of the state.

  • They must be property of the state if the state is funding their “medical procedures”.
    Just as I always say – if the state pays for your very existence; then you are a slavery to the state.

  • Um, no. Good to know you approve of slavery. OK. We are done here.

    It is obvious you have no regard for the sanctity of the lives of people. Your concern for the unborn is bogus. Just an excuse to be an obnoxious troll.

  • Trump has simply expanded his war on women, on women’s health, on women’s rights of conscience, on women’s religious liberty. He cares nothing for the poverty of women and children he is promoting. This schmuck is unfit to the president.

  • A bit sensitive today. Must have saw the new poll that young democrats are trending pro-life.
    Thank you gov cuomo and gov Northam.

  • Let’s apply that to care of the elderly.

    Then let’s hear your tune change when it’s turn in the nursing home.

  • “One meant to interfere with the relationship between medical professionals and their patients …” in furtherance of making the Hippocratic Oath less of a lie.

  • An assertion made without any regards to facts comes to mind. A perfect description for the anecdotes you allegedly heard about

  • If it were a church using a grant for a health screening program to fund the operation of the same building where worship takes place, wouldn’t it be a problem? Yet we are less worried about this separation, despite the Hyde amendment’s explicit language?

    The executive branch has broad power to interpret policy.

  • Bad analogy. Also, you are working off a fictional premise.

    The ban is on referrals. If the procedures are done at the same place no referral would be necessary. You fail to understand how the Hyde Amendment works in this context.

  • Not an advocate of abstinence. I only added it as a matter of completeness.
    Regarding the Pill and unused condom: Said “users” are playing abortion roulette by not using them properly. With all the free internet porn, masturbation is a great alternative.

  • Kermit Gosnell’s butchery and Savita Halappanavar’s death are proof of what happens when fetus worshipers get their way.

  • Nope. Indifferent immoral fools with a fake concern for life created the situation. The end result of your views.

  • I can’t help it if your position involves self deception as well. But the cokd hard facts are no lives are saved by abortion bans.

  • I’d like to know why the unemployment rate is so high in these areas – especially when overall unemployment is at less than 5%.
    If people can work – they should work.
    If they choose not to work – then they are on their own.

  • “The final rule released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department also would prohibit federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same locations as abortion providers, and require stricter financial separation.”

    “Planned Parenthood and other groups representing the clinics say the new requirements for physical separation of facilities would be all but impossible to fulfill.”

    Maybe I don’t know a thing, but I can at least read the article Im commenting on.

  • So they are looking to create conditions which are meant to be intentionally obtrusive and difficult to implement. Relying on arbitrary standards of separation meant to impede all operations.

    You are trying to pretend there is some widespread violation of the Hyde Amendment which does not exist.

    If you have to rely on obvious backdoor bans, any pretense of a moral and legal position here is a farce.

    There is no problem being addressed here other than the lack of respect for women’s health and family planning clinics. Part and parcel with treating women as chattel property of the state inherent to fetus worship.

  • Avoiding the issue I see. The same people who want forced birth are the same who show absolute hostility to people and children in general.

  • I have no problem with people working for a government check.
    You on the other hand are for state sponsored slavery.

  • Said the person who actually said that women must be chattel property of the state.

    “They must be property of the state of the state”

  • Ok. Well, if you gotta move; you gotta move.
    I’ve worked all over the US.
    It stinks; but you gotta feed the family.

  • The United States is a highly mobile country.

    Right now the big movement occurring is from high tax states like New York and California to low tax states like Florida and Texas.

    The first two in your article are in California. That does not seem to be “Trump country”.

    Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are three of the poorest states in the country.

    What would actually tell us something is along with the current unemployment rate the rate two, five, and eight or ten years ago.

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