USA – Why the domestic gag rule is bad news

Why the domestic gag rule is bad news

By Meredeth Turshen and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers

On July 15, the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program went into effect – and one month later, Planned Parenthood clinics, which together serve about 40 percent of all Title X patients, withdrew from the program en masse. The new rules prohibit providers and staff in Title X-funded clinics like Planned Parenthood from performing some of their core functions: referring patients for abortion, and receiving funds to provide services like cancer and STI screenings while using non-federal funds to finance abortion. Instead, the rule mandates referral for prenatal care and social services like infant or foster care or adoption – effectively denying patients comprehensive counseling about pregnancy options.


USA – Family planning clinics watch their safety nets vanish

Family planning clinics watch their safety nets vanish
Cutbacks have hit health clinics that lost federal dollars over Trump abortion rules.


Some health clinics that quit the federal family planning program over Trump anti-abortion policies are cutting staff, charging for services that had been free and making other austerity moves to avert a major hollowing out of reproductive health care for poor women.

At least four state health departments, hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics and dozens of independent providers have withdrawn from the more than $250 million Title X program. Some have literally had to box up and return unused supplies bought with a government discount. They’re leaning on emergency funds, private donations and in some instances, state assistance.


USA – Nowhere to “Hyde”: Congressional Democrats target restriction on federal abortion funding

Nowhere to “Hyde”: Congressional Democrats target restriction on federal abortion funding

By Gabriela Resto-Montero
Aug. 4, 2018

For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has barred any federal money from being used to pay for abortions, except for in some cases involving rape, incest or instances where the mother may lose her life. Although the amendment is just a rider on the annual appropriation bill to fund the Health and Human Services Department, in every year since 1976, Congress has approved the measure. Those days may now be over.

In response to President Donald Trump endorsing making the Hyde Amendment a permanent law during his campaign, Democratic Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and former New York representative Louise Slaughter, who has since died, introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, or EACH Woman Act, in January 2017 to allow any woman who has health insurance through the federal government to have access to all reproductive care services, including abortion.


USA – The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

Carole Joffe
First Published August 1, 2018

Abstract: Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.

“Some will rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.” This line from an old Woody Guthrie song is an apt description of the vulnerability of abortion providers in the United States. Clinics have long been subject to physical attacks: eleven individuals have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists, thousands more have been terrorized at their homes and offices, and numerous clinics have been vandalized, even destroyed by fire-bombings. More recently, a harsh new regulatory regime—Guthrie’s “pen”—comprising onerous restrictions passed by state legislatures and hostile inspections by health departments threaten the ability of providers to keep their facilities open and to sustain their vision of “woman-centered” care. As a longtime abortion clinic administrator told me, “Regulatory interference is the new frontier of the anti-abortion movement.”