According to the New York Times, the law reverses a measure issued under the Obama administration that prevented local and state governments from withholding Title X family planning grants from such healthcare providers for any reason other than a provider’s inability to effectively deliver services.
The Title X grant program subsidizes services for contraception, STI and STD testing, and breast and cervical cancer screening. Grants are awarded to the most qualified healthcare providers in specific communities, meaning that if Planned Parenthood clinics are granted funds under the program, they’ve proven themselves as better providers than other local clinics.
But despite the Hyde Amendment already preventing federal funds from being used on abortion care services, this new law will allow states to disqualify abortion care providers from being eligible to receive these grants.
Last month Vice President Mike Pence delivered the tie-breaking Senate vote to send the bill to Trump after two Republican senators, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins, voted with Democrats to keep the original measure.
The law is a gain for anti-abortion conservatives bent on defunding Planned Parenthood and Trump himself. Last month, the president proposed preventing federal cuts to all Planned Parenthood services if the healthcare provider stopped providing abortion care, an offer the clinic swiftly declined.
In a statement, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said they oppose Trump’s signing of the law.
“People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access healthcare, and this bill is just the latest example… Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and by signing this bill, President Trump disregards their health,” Laguens said.
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