Birth Control Gets Caught Up in the Abortion Wars
The Trump administration’s cruel new family planning rule threatens access to contraception and other health care for poor women.
By The Editorial Board
Feb. 26, 2019
In its continuing assault on reproductive rights, the Trump administration has issued potentially devastating changes to the nation’s nearly 50-year-old family planning program, Title X, which allows millions of women each year to afford contraception, cancer screenings and other critical health services.
Health clinics have long been barred from using Title X money, or any federal funds, to pay for abortions, but they have been able to provide abortions and other family planning services under one roof. Under the new rule, unveiled last week by the Department of Health and Human Services after being floated last year, a clinic that provides abortions will have to jump through an absurd series of hoops to continue receiving Title X funding. For instance, it will have to create a separate entrance to the facility for patients seeking abortions, hire separate personnel and establish a separate electronic health records system. Title X facilities will also be barred from referring patients for abortions. The rule gives discretion to the department to decide on a case-by-case basis whether facilities are in compliance.