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Planned Parenthood defies Trump, stops accepting federal funding

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July 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Signaling yet again that it will not forego abortion to provide legitimate women’s healthcare, the nation’s largest abortion chain announced Tuesday that it will pull out of the federal Title X program entirely rather than comply with a Trump administration rule barring family planning funds from providers involved with abortion.

In February, the administration finalized a rule that will require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning,” ban “referral for abortion as a method of family planning,” eliminate a “requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral,” and require “more complete reporting by grantees about subrecipients and more clarity about informal partnerships with referral agencies.”

The rule is projected to cut almost $60 million from the $563.8 million Planned Parenthood received during the most recent fiscal year, and redirect it to women’s health providers that aren’t involved in abortions. This has provoked intense anger among abortion supporters and lawsuits from 21 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association (AMA).

In April, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian issued a nationwide injunction against the rule, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed him, allowing the rule to take effect this week while the case on the merits is litigated.

In response, Planned Parenthood says it will reject the funds for other services so it can continue committing and referring for abortions, the Associated Press reports.

"We are not going to comply with a regulation that would require health care providers to not give full information to their patients," Planned Parenthood lobbyist Jacqueline Ayers declared. "We believe as a health care provider it is wrong to withhold health care information from patients."

Ayers claimed that as the abortion giant continues to lobby against the funding restriction, it will rely on “emergency funding” to continue its operations. She added that she was unsure how long those funds will last – a framing pro-lifers have found curious in light of Planned Parenthood’s overall financial situation.

Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report shows the organization not only enjoyed almost a billion dollars in annual private revenue and contributions, but that it will continue to receive over $500 million from taxpayers even without the Title X money.

The abortion lobby’s supporters also insist that defunding Planned Parenthood also impacts the abortion giant’s non-abortion health services (which have been declining relative to abortions). In fact, pro-lifers argue that redirecting the money to other providers will more than make up for it. As of 2015, Federally-Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics outnumbered Planned Parenthood locations by a factor of twenty.

The 9th Circuit will hear arguments and issue a ruling on the merits of the abortion lobby’s case against the rule at a later date. The fate of the Trump rule, and the prospects of a more comprehensive defunding of Planned Parenthood, will be among the most contentious issues of next year’s presidential and congressional elections. Yesterday, Planned Parenthood ousted its president Leana Wen, citing the need for a more “aggressive” and abortion-focused leader for this fight.

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