President Donald Trump is keeping another promise, On Thursday, he signed legislation that allows states to withhold funding from clinics that provide abortion services.
Trump has officially reversed a rule that former President Barack Obama put in place shortly before he left office. This rule stopped states from blocking money to family planning clinics that performed abortions.
Although this signing was done behind closed doors with no press in attendance, Seema Verma, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America; Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.); and Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager and current counselor to the president, all witnessed the legislation signing.
“Undoing the prohibition also gives Republicans and anti-abortion groups a victory after House Republicans failed to agree last month on a bill they had sought for years to overhaul the health care system. The failed House bill, which Trump supported, would have blocked federal money for Planned Parenthood for a year, in addition to repealing portions of Obama’s 2010 health law,” writes Newsmax.
While there is already a federal law in place prohibiting federal money from being used specifically for abortions, this rule lets the state and local governments decide which family planning organizations to give money to.
“President Trump is delivering on his promise to give states the flexibility that they need to make health care decisions that best meet their citizens’ unique needs,” said Verma after the singing ceremony.
Advocates of the pro-life movement see this as a big victory.
“This week the pro-life movement had two huge victories: first, the swearing-in of Justice Gorsuch, and now, President Trump will undo former president Obama’s parting gift to the abortion industry,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List president, which sponsored the bill. “We expect to see Congress continue its efforts to redirect additional taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood through pro-life health-care reform after the spring recess.”
While, pro-choice supporters see this rule as a step backwards. Planned Parenthood is running with it’s same narrative that this puts “womens’, especially minorities health in jeopardy.”
“People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and this bill is just the latest example,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We should build on the tremendous progress made in this country with expanded access to birth control, instead of enacting policies that take us backward. Too many women still face barriers to health care, especially young women, women of color, those who live in rural areas, and women with low incomes.”
Another pro-choicer filmmaker Michael Moore slammed the president’s move by tweeting “Trump signs vicious order letting states defund ALL Planned Parenthood services. No word on whether he popped a Tic Tac in his mouth first.”
The federal government provided more than $553 million to Planned Parenthood during 2014-2015, which is 43% of its funding.
But due to the recent scandals of the organization being exposed, like the cringe-worthy undercover footage revealing Planned Parenthood was selling aborted fetuses for top dollar and the disgusting process they use to do so, many Republicans believe the organization deserves no federal funding.
So which states will be the first to block funds to Planned Parenthood?
“Currently, Kentucky is close to passing a bill reducing the family planning organization’s access to federal funds. In 2016, the government provided more than $1.6 million to Planned Parenthood facilities across Kentucky and Indiana. In Iowa, Republican lawmakers are also looking for ways to cut funding to the health clinics. Planned Parenthood centers throughout the “heartland”—Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, eastern Oklahoma—received $3.1 million in public grants for fiscal year 2016, writes Fox Business.
While, pro-choice states like Maryland plan to donate more to the organization.
Nonetheless, this is one step closer to bringing Planned Parenthood down.
“Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion, plain and simple,” said Paul Ryan, House speaker. “We remain united and steadfast in our commitment to life and religious liberty.”
Author’s note: Planned Parenthood is finally getting what it deserves for being the shady corporation it is. States should have the right to defund the organization or others performing abortions and channel the money to fund more meaningful healthcare for women.