Health

Trump Signs Law: States Can Defund Planned Parenthood

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that is designed to give states the authority to withhold federal funds to organizations that provide certain medical services for women.

The law has been touted as a conservative attack on Planned Parenthood, a major women's health services provider that, among other things, also provides abortions.

But the legislation isn't limited to organizations that provide abortions. Rather, it allows states to withhold federal funds to any organization that provides services affecting contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and that provide breast and cervical cancer screenings, according to The New York Times.

The legislation was also a direct cancelation of a rule put in place during the waning days of the Obama administration and, as such, was fiercely criticized by conservatives who wish to restrict women's health services.

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‶This is promise kept," said Marjorie Dannenfelser of the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony's List, according to NPR. "This puts an end to the outgoing gift that Obama gave the Trump administration which was to disallow states from being in charge of its own family planning funds."

‶President [Barack] Obama’s parting gift to the abortion industry was in keeping with his Administration’s actions over the last eight years. At every turn, then-President Obama thwarted efforts by state and local authorities -- who were acting on the will of the people -- to prioritize taxpayer funding away from Big Abortion,″ Dannenfelser said in a separate statement, according to Tru News. ‶Obama’s legacy of forcing Americans to finance the abortion industry is being steadily dismantled by our new pro-life President and the pro-life Congress. We look forward to swift passage of this resolution in the Senate so that it can receive President Trump’s signature.″

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, denounced Trump's signing of the legislation, which was conducted without fanfare during a quiet ceremony.

"[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," Laguens said in a statement, according to CNN.

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"Stripping millions of Americans of the critical health care services that Planned Parenthood provides doesn't just hurt women -- it hurts entire families and their economic security," said Stephanie Schriock, the head of EMILY's List, a Democratic political action committee that works to elect pro-choice politicians. "This is just one more example of Donald Trump's White House and this Republican Congress taking every single opportunity to chip away at women's rights, and we won't stand for it."

Sources: NPR, The New York Times, CNN, Tru News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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