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Trump abortion restrictions effective immediately

SeattlePI.com Monday, 15 July 2019
WASHINGTON (AP) — Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women to abortion providers immediately, the Trump administration said Monday, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women's rights groups.

The Health and Human Services department formally notified family planning 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. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.

The rule is widely seen as a blow against 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. The organization is a mainstay of the federally-funded family planning program and has threatened to quit over the dispute.

Planned Parenthood and other family-planning providers are suing the Trump administration in federal court to overturn the regulations, but HHS said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the litigation proceeds.

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 40 percent of all clients. The grant program costs taxpayers about $260 million a year.

The family planning rule is part of a series of Trump administration efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health. Other regulations tangled up in court would allow employers to opt out of offering free birth control to women workers on the basis of religious or moral objections, and grant health care professionals wider...
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