Once again, President Donald Trump wants to make it tougher for women to get abortions.
And, once again, it’s all about him, not about women’s health or the charged moral issues. He’s out to please his base.
A proposed rule by the Trump administration would prohibit health centers that rely on Title X federal funding for family planning services from providing women with information about abortion services, except in cases when the woman already has made up her mind to have an abortion.
At this point, it looks like only the courts can stop Trump. And stop him they must.
In practical terms, Trump is going after Planned Parenthood, the non-profit organization that provides women with an array of legal and necessary reproductive health services, including abortions.
By essentially defunding Planned Parenthood, Trump would force 50,340 women in Illinois who currently get birth control there, thanks to Title X funding, to find new clinics. But in six Illinois counties, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X provider. Planned Parenthood serves 42 percent of the nearly 120,000 Illinois patients who receive care under Title X.
Teenagers and women living on lower incomes would be hurt most. Title X gives priority given to women “from low-income families.”
In a second potential blow to women’s reproductive rights, the Trump administration also is trying to kill a rule that family planning clinics must offer their clients information about all methods of birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In a clinic controlled by ultra-conservatives, that could mean the only advice a client gets is to abstain from sex — and she won’t hear a word about contraceptives.
The Trump administration could not be more backward, and doctors are appalled.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has joined seven other groups of health care professionals in opposing the policy changes. They link record-low teen pregnancy rates to the current rules.
“The proposed rule dangerously intrudes on the patient-provider relationship,” the health groups said in a statement.
Early in his presidency, Trump cut international aid to family planning centers that provide abortions or give patients referrals for abortion services. It is known as a “global gag rule.”
Now he’s come up with a “domestic gag rule,” and it is every bit as misogynistic.
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