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States vow to refuse family planning funds if abortion centers can’t get any

abortion, family planning,

Last year, the Trump administration announced plans to change Title X rules, blocking abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving family planning dollars if they refuse to separate their abortion business from their other family planning-related services. In response, numerous states have filed lawsuits in an attempt to block the new rules, but for some states, that’s not enough. Others are threatening to refuse to accept federal dollars if those dollars are no longer allowed to prop up the abortion industry.

Politico reports that Oregon, Washington, and Maryland are considering turning down Title X funding, complaining that “new restrictions would undermine medical care for patients, and, in some cases, violate state laws.” More states may follow suit, with only four out of the 23 states suing the administration telling Politico that they plan to continue participating in Title X. The states currently planning on taking the Title X funding are Delaware, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

If these states do turn down the federal funding, it could then create a funding gap that some of the states aren’t sure how they will fill — which could actually remove most options from poor women. Politico reports that Washington’s lawsuit states that they will be forced to “restrict the population of patients eligible for subsidized family planning services.”

The rules that will potentially be put into place if the lawsuits fail are seemingly uncontroversial. Title X recipients will not be allowed to refer women for abortions, and they will also be required to keep facilities where abortions are committed separate from facilities where family planning services are provided. It will also require Title X recipients to follow state and local laws on sexual abuse reporting, something abortion facilities — and Planned Parenthood in particular — have been guilty of flouting.

READ: Multiple states sue, Planned Parenthood mobilizes against pro-life HHS rule

 

These guidelines will not prevent any pro-abortion state from providing health care to women in need; it will only slightly cut taxpayer funding for abortion, as the majority of Americans do not support taxpayer funding for abortion. Such a decision essentially comes down to priorities: protecting taxpayer-funded abortion, or providing health care for those in need.

“I can’t quite imagine how we would provide care for again those who are really struggling to meet basic needs and get access to health care services,” Kara Odom Walker, secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, told Politico, explaining why they would continue accepting Title X funding even if their lawsuit fails.

By turning down Title X funding, these states are essentially choosing abortion over women’s health care, even as they profess to be fighting to keep access to health care available. Recipients of Title X funding currently include not just groups like Planned Parenthood, but also school health clinics, community health centers, and more. Legitimate health care providers will be stripped of their funding, not because of the Trump administration, but because pro-abortion state lawmakers are that devoted to protecting abortion.

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