cloudy.png
Thursday July 9th, 2020 10:47AM

Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising the stakes in an ideologically charged standoff over women's health, Planned Parenthood said Wednesday it will soon leave the federal family planning program unless a court puts a hold on Trump administration rules that bar clinics from referring patients for abortions.

The administration responded that it is ready to operate the Title X family planning program without the organization that has been the largest provider. About 4 million women are served nationwide under the program, which distributes $260 million in grants to clinics. It's unclear how many patients would be affected.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Erica Sackin said that its affiliated clinics "will be formally out of the Title X program" by Monday, passing up federal funding, unless the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco halts the new rules. The appeals court is weighing a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and others to overturn the rules; a panel of judges in effect had earlier allowed the administration to go ahead with enforcement.

Monday also is the deadline set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for participants in the family planning program to submit plans on how they would comply with the rules, which are set to take effect Sept. 18.

In a notice to the court Wednesday, Planned Parenthood said it "will be forced to withdraw" by close of business on Monday unless the full court intervenes. Planned Parenthood says the administration's new policy is "unethical and dangerous," amounting to a "gag rule" on clinicians.

In response, HHS spokeswoman Mia Heck said Planned Parenthood represents fewer than 400 of 4,000 service sites around the country.

"To the extent that Planned Parenthood claims that it must make burdensome changes to comply with the final rule, it is actually choosing to place a higher priority on the ability to refer for abortion instead of continuing to receive federal funds to provide a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods," Heck said in a statement.

The immediate impact for patients remained unclear. Planned Parenthood says it serves about 40% of patients, but it has also pledged to keep its doors open as it contests the administration's policy change. Other program participants unaffiliated with Planned Parenthood have warned they'd leave the program as well.

It seemed likely that disruptions to the 50-year-old program would vary from state to state. Some states have said they would step in to take over from the federal government. In addition to birth control, clinics provide basic health services and cancer screenings for many low-income women.

Although federal family planning money cannot be used to pay for abortions, clinics had been able to refer women seeking abortions to another provider. In many cases, that would be a Planned Parenthood facility.

The administration's family planning rule is part of a series of efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health to please conservatives who are a key part of President Donald Trump's political base. Religious conservatives see the program as providing an indirect subsidy to Planned Parenthood, which runs family planning clinics and is also a major abortion provider.

Along with the ban on abortion referrals by clinics, the rule's requirements include financial separation from facilities that provide abortion, designating abortion counseling as optional instead of standard practice and limiting which staff members can discuss abortion with patients. Clinics would have until next March to separate their office space and examination rooms from the physical facilities of providers that offer abortions.

HHS says it does not want to see a disruption of services, and officials are willing to accommodate clinics that are making a "good-faith" effort to comply.

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

Planned Parenthood and other opponents of the administration's rule say it would interfere with a medical professional's duty to provide complete information to their patients. Also seeking to overturn the rule are several states and professional groups, including the American Medical Association.

"For all intents and purposes, (the new policy) imposes a gag rule on what information physicians can provide to their patients," the AMA said in a statement this year. "The patient-physician relationship relies on trust, open conversation and informed decision making and the government should not be telling physicians what they can and cannot say to their patients."

Anti-abortion groups are essentially daring Planned Parenthood to exit.

"Women across America are going to find out for themselves that they don't need Planned Parenthood after the nation's largest abortion vendor pulls out of a program that they never should have been in at all," said Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins in a statement.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business, AP Health - Women's health
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
CMA voters consider whether to nominate 'Old Town Road'
Rapper Lil Nas X created a musical phenomenon with his song, "Old Town Road," but the song faces an uphill challenge to get on the CMA ballot
2:12PM ( 13 minutes ago )
WeWork reveals rapid growth and massive losses ahead of IPO
WeWork reveals huge losses and breakneck growth ahead of anticipated stock market debut
2:05PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Mysterious missile explosion in Russia raises questions
Mysterious missile explosion in northwestern Russia leaves unanswered questions
1:59PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Administration takes step to relax trucker drive-time rules
The Trump administration has taken a step closer to relaxing federal rules governing the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel
12:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump official: Statue of Liberty's poem is about Europeans
Acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services says inscription on Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants to US is about 'people coming from Europe'
12:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Ex-Blackwater contractor sentenced to life in Iraq shootings
A federal judge has sentenced a former Blackwater security contractor to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq
12:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Model Ashley Graham shows off pregnancy with first child
Surprise! That's how model Ashley Graham announces she's pregnant with her first child in time to celebrate her ninth wedding anniversary with filmmaker Justin Ervin
12:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
Paris streets near Notre Dame to be decontaminated from lead
Workers are preparing to decontaminate some Paris streets surrounding the Notre Dame Cathedral that have been tested with high levels of lead
10:27AM ( 1 day ago )
New York probation offices screening youth for suicide risk
Probation offices across New York have started screening young offenders for risk of suicide as a way to connect them with mental health services
5:19PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Health
France drafts law to extend IVF to lesbians, single women
Single women and lesbians in France no longer would have to go abroad to get pregnant with a doctor's help under a proposed law that would give them access to medically assisted reproduction at home
5:13PM ( 1 week ago )
Judge temporarily blocks new Arkansas anti-abortion laws
A federal judge has temporarily stopped three new abortion restrictions from taking effect in Arkansas
3:51PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Planned Parenthood to defy Trump abortion referral rule
Trump administration says family planning clinics that receive federal money are no longer allowed to refer women for abortions
8:26PM ( 4 weeks ago )
AP Health - Women's health
CMA voters consider whether to nominate 'Old Town Road'
Rapper Lil Nas X created a musical phenomenon with his song, "Old Town Road," but the song faces an uphill challenge to get on the CMA ballot
2:12PM ( 14 minutes ago )
WeWork reveals rapid growth and massive losses ahead of IPO
WeWork reveals huge losses and breakneck growth ahead of anticipated stock market debut
2:05PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Mysterious missile explosion in Russia raises questions
Mysterious missile explosion in northwestern Russia leaves unanswered questions
1:59PM ( 27 minutes ago )
The typically calm bond market is alarmed about the economy
An economic alarm bell sounds in the U.S., sending warnings of a potential recession
1:49PM ( 37 minutes ago )
No. 4 Simona Halep rallies to avoid upset in Ohio
Simona Halep rallies for 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Western & Southern Open in Ohio
1:48PM ( 37 minutes ago )