The restrictions on abortions levied by the White House administration will be effective immediately. Family planning clinics that are funded by taxpayers must stop referring women for abortions, the Trump administration said Monday. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department formally notified clinics that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions.
HHS gave the notification ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics. Not only is there a new rule on separate finances, another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof will take effect next year.
Religious conservatives praised the new regulation, while medical organizations and women’s rights groups denounced it. The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following “an ideological agenda” that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.
The rule is widely seen as a hit on Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately.
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in a statement that “our doors are still open” as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court. “We will not stop fighting for all those across the country in need of essential care,” Wen said.
Abortion opponents welcomed the administration’s move. “Ending the connection between abortion and family planning is a victory for common-sense health care,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, said in a statement.
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.
What are your thoughts about this new policy?