The Trump administration is reallocating $34 million in funds to cover gaps in birth control access for low-income women, using funds forfeited by Planned Parenthood and other providers who refused to comply with the administration’s abortion restrictions.
Instead, the money will go to 50 so-called “grantees” willing to accept Title X funding despite the newly-implemented gag rule, which prevents clinics funded by the family-planning program from referring their patients to abortion providers.
“The Trump administration is frantically scrambling to try to fill the gaps in care created through its own unethical gag rule,” Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.
“If the Trump administration truly wanted to expand access to birth control they would repeal the gag rule and allow our nation’s program for affordable birth control do what it does best—provide birth control. Instead the Trump administration continues to fall far short of preserving access to care for patients who need it the most.”
Established in 1970, Title X is the only federal program dedicated to funding a wide range of reproductive health and family planning services, including contraceptives, for millions of low-income patients throughout the country. In addition to prohibiting clinics from referring patients to abortion providers, the new restrictions also mandate that clinics providing abortions implement expensive physical and administrative barriers to separate their abortion facilities from the rest of the clinic
As of now, five states—Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington—will no longer be served by the federal program, and have vowed to replace the funding themselves.