Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018

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Trump reluctant to fund clinics that refer for abortion

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Health Desk-- 19 May, 2018: The Trump administration will resurrect a Reagan-era rule banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers.

Speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the release, a senior White House official Thursday said that the Department of Health and Human Services would announce its proposal Friday.

The new proposal will roll back the Clinton requirement that abortion should be discussed as an option along with prenatal care and adoption, according to a Trump administration summary.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but by law federal family planning funds cannot be used to pay for abortion procedures. Abortion opponents say a taxpayer-funded family planning program should have no connection to abortion. Doctors’ groups and abortion rights supporters say a ban on counseling women trespasses on the doctor-patient relationship.

The policy has been derided as a “gag rule” by abortion rights supporters and medical groups, and it is likely to trigger lawsuits that could keep it from taking effect.

However, it’s guaranteed to galvanize activists on both sides of the abortion debate going into the congressional midterm elections.