Michael J. New on Why Trump Administration’s Protect Life Rule is a Victory for Women

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2019, file photo, people taking part in an anti-abortion march hold signs as they stand on the steps of the Legislative building at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. With a flurry of recent actions, Trump’s administration is now winning the praise of conservative religious leaders for fulfilling many of their goals opposing abortion and reining in the LGBTQ-rights movement. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

On Monday, Planned Parenthood announced that it would withdraw from the federal Title X family planning program. The reason is that they are unwilling to comply with the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which prevents Title X grantees from co-locating with abortion facilities or doing abortion referrals.

However, contrary to the statement by Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood was not forced out of the program. Planned Parenthood was still eligible for Title X funds and could even continue to talk to women about abortion in a non-directive manner. The Protect Life Rule simply prevented them from either referring women to an abortion facility, including their own, or suggesting where to obtain an abortion. By choosing not to abide by this rule, Planned Parenthood forfeited their eligibility for federal Title X funds.

Unsurprisingly, the Trump administration’s policy received a rush of criticism from a number of Democratic elected officials. On Twitter, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the Trump administration of “deliberately obstructing low-income people’s access to basic health care services.” Similarly, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that “The President is jeopardizing the health of millions of people.” Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker stated that “In Illinois, we have not and will not support this gag rule.” Additionally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, California Rep. Norma Torres, and Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia, all went online to express opposition to the rule.

However, recent history from the state of Texas shows that these dire health predictions are misguided. When the Texas legislature excluded Planned Parenthood from its state family planning grants in 2011, they too faced a great deal of opposition. A Legislative Budget Board analysis predicted an increase of over 20,000 unplanned births. Similarly, a Guttmacher Institute analysis predicted that in the absence of these family planning grants, abortions in Texas would increase by 22%.

Health care providers expressed similar concerns. Regina Rogoff, CEO of People’s Community Clinic in central Texas, said, “The real-world effects of attacking women’s health will soon be devastatingly clear in Texas.” Similarly, Fran Hagerty, CEO of the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, predicted increases in both unintended pregnancies and abortions.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael J. New