Yesterday, President Trump officially signed the legislation that will cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The legislation overturned protection for Title X, the only federal grant program dedicated to family planning and related preventive health services. Now, because of the restriction-lifting legislation, states have the power to withhold funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
We knew this was bound to happen after Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote that allowed the Senate to roll back protections on funding to Planned Parenthood two weeks ago.
The legislation signed also rolled back regulations put into place by the Obama Administration in December as a last-ditch effort to protect the Title X funding. Many states in the past, like Arkansas, have tried to bar federal funds from going towards family clinics, and the Obama regulation prevented them from withholding money to certain organizations for "reasons other than their ability to provide 'Title X services.'"
Senator Patty Murray, a democrat from Washington, called Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote a historic moment. “It is a sad day for the United States Senate,” she said.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, responded to the decision to defund the organization. "What makes no sense is if you actually want to reduce the need for abortions in this country, you have to reduce unintended pregnancy. And that's exactly what we do and we do it better than anyone," she said.
This is a sad day for women's rights; Planned Parenthood and other clinics affected provide more than just abortions. They provide birth control and offer pregnancy care, treat sexually transmitted infections and screen for breast and cervical cancer. This new measure is an enormous step backward in the Trump administration's crusade to take away our reproductive rights.
Top photo via Wikimedia Commons
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