States can now decide how they want to use Title X money for health care, a right denied to them by former President Barack Obama in the last days of his presidency.
Thursday, President Donald Trump signed a bill cancelling an Obama-era rule that required state and local governments to provide federal funds to all qualified health providers.
Under the Obama rule, funds were provided for birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility, prenatal care and cancer screening. Funds were not available for abortions; however states could not withhold funds from providers that offered them.
Many believe it should be up to states to decide where the Title X funds are spent, independent of federal influence.
By signing the new bill, President Trump returned power to the states, allowing them to withhold funding from healthcare providers who perform abortions, if they so choose.
Critics say this is simply an effort to defund Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens feels the move doesn’t account for millions of women’s health concerns. “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,” she says.
Planned Parenthood, who helped 579,000 women end their “unintended pregnancies” in a year, also provides women’s health services. By and large, they don’t provide mammograms or prenatal care.
Penny Nance, of Concerned Women For America, says there are other facilities that are better able to care for the whole woman. She says that Planned Parenthood is “soaking up” federal funds that could go to better use in the other clinics, which outnumber Planned Parenthood 20-1.
Legislation for the bill that ended the restrictive regulation was passed in the Senate last month, with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, says, “Prioritizing funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care alternatives is a winning issue.”
She and Nance, who both attended the signing, are encouraged by this bill. Along with other supporters of the pro-life movement, they expect more support for “pro-life health care reform” from the president and Congress when congress resumes in late April.
H/T: The Hill
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