Reproductive rights advocates slammed the Trump administration on Monday after Planned Parenthood announced that the White House had forced it to decline funding used to provide healthcare to more than a million low-income women.
The organization said it was withdrawing from Title X funding, citing the Trump administration's "domestic gag rule," which prohibits health centers receiving the funds from counseling patients about where and how to obtain abortion care.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, Planned Parenthood is being forced out of the Title X program, meaning people across the country who are already struggling to make ends meet might not be able to access the care they need.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) August 19, 2019
"When you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we not agree to be in the program,” Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of Planned Parenthood, told the New York Times.
The loss of $60 million for Planned Parenthood means that 1.5 million low-income women—40 percent of the women across the country who obtain healthcare funded by Title X—could lose the medical care they receive at the group's clinics. According to the Times, at least one facility, a mobile HIV testing clinic in Cleveland, could be forced to close entirely.
Like the Trump administration's other attacks on women's reproductive rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America wrote, the Title X rule "is about control."
Trump fulfills debt he owes the anti-choice crowd for their support in 2016: excluding Planned Parenthood from Title X funding, punishing low income women and denying them the freedom to plan their own family. This is about control. Period. We will #resist. https://t.co/hepIIXgWrk
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— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) August 19, 2019
Amnesty International also condemned President Donald Trump's rule, noting that a total of four million low-income women rely on Title X funding for breast cancer screenings, routine gynecological care, and STI testing.
"The Trump administration's restrictions on Title X trample on sexual and reproductive rights, putting the lives of all pregnant people at significant risk, especially low-income women," said Tarah Demant, director of the organization's Gender, Sexuality and Identity Program.
"The only people who should be making decisions about their pregnancies are those who are pregnant or can become pregnant. Any and all policies by a government should support and respect a pregnant persons' reproductive autonomy and basic human rights—any policies that refuse to do that are illegitimate and unlawful."
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) expressed pride that Planned Parenthood and a number of smaller reproductive health providers across the country have refused to participate in the Title X program under Trump's restrictions.
"We could not be prouder of our members for fighting this unconscionable gag rule meant to deny women even basic information about their healthcare options," said Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, interim president of NAF.
"It is unfathomable that anyone would want to prevent healthcare providers from giving their patients accurate medical information and referrals to other safe, quality health care providers," she added. "This is another clear sign that President Trump and his administration would rather bow to anti-abortion extremists than ensure that people in America have access to quality healthcare."