Trump signs resolution allowing states to withhold federal funds from organizations who provide abortion services
Trump usually enjoys media fanfare when he puts pen to paper but this week, without any press looking on, he quietly signed a bill that could have a huge impact on women’s health in America.
The resolution allows states to withhold federal family planning grants from organizations that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood. This overturns a Health and Human services rule enacted under President Obama which prevented states from cutting Title X family planning grants to health care providers on the basis that they provide abortion services.
The resolution barely made it past the Senate, with Vice-President Pence having to descend from the Iron Throne to cast the tie-breaking vote. Two female Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, broke party ranks and voted against the bill, because they saw it for the throwback into the 1940s that it is.
“If you’re serious about trying to reduce the number of abortions,” Senator Collins said after the vote, “the best way to do that is to make family planning more widely available.” We agree, Senator. So much for logic.
What’s particularly bewildering about this witch hunt turned war against Planned Parenthood and other abortion service providers is that there’s already a rule in place which prevent federal funds from paying for abortion services. It’s called the Hyde Amendment. It forbids the use of federal funds to pay for abortions with limited exceptions, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.
One more time for the people in the back — federal funds can’t be used to pay for abortions except in specific, extenuating circumstances. Oh, you’re just going to sign that bill anyway? Cool, cool. I’ll be over here, stockpiling Ortho Lo.
Thanks to the Hyde amendment, it can be extremely difficult for low-income women to find the means to pay for an abortion, because they typically can’t seek federal funds to help cover the cost. Women may have the legal right to an abortion, but equal access is a whole other story.
What Trump’s signature really means is that instead of protecting lives he’s placing thousands of women in danger. Abortions account for only 3% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Instead, woman turn to their local Planned Parenthood for low-cost access to preventative healthcare services such as STI testing, obtaining birth control, UIT treatment, well visits, PAP smears, breast cancer screenings and more. Planned Parenthood is also the largest provider of sex education in the country. If states chose to withhold Title X funds from Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics, women may no longer be able to afford or obtain these very necessary, and in some cases life-saving, services.
“(Women’s) worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
Land of the free my ass.