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The Obama administration finalized a rule Wednesday that prohibits states from defunding Planned Parenthood for political reasons.
The rule (viewable in full here), states that state lawmakers are banned from withholding Title X funding from Planned Parenthood and other health providers for any reason other than the provider’s ability to deliver family planning services. More than 20 state legislatures have spearheaded Planned Parenthood defunding efforts over the course of Obama’s presidency. Though Republican lawmakers have justified defunding Planned Parenthood by claiming they’re siphoning money away from abortion, Planned Parenthood provides many crucial health care services other than abortion, including life-saving cancer screenings, STD/STI screenings, and contraceptive care especially for low-income families.
The Trump administration will have the power to reverse the decision, which seems likely considering Trump has appointed Republican Tom Price as Health and Human Services secretary.
Price voted to ban federal funding for abortion and prohibit interstate transport of minors for abortion procedures, and he signed an act to prohibit taxpayer money from supporting Planned Parenthood. Price has voted to ban federal funding for abortion and prohibit interstate transport of minors to get abortion, as well as sign an act to prohibit taxpayer money from supporting Planned Parenthood. He has also been quoted as saying “not one woman” has struggled to pay for or access birth control in the United States, even though a survey commissioned by Planned Parenthood shows more than half of women have indeed struggled on both fronts.
Mehak Anwar is a reporter whose work focuses on LGBTQ rights, intersectional feminism, and race. Her byline has appeared in Bustle and the Huffington Post.