With the Trump-controlled federal courts refusing to block Title X funding directives ending all federal money for clinics that perform abortions, the Trump regime is mandating that taxpayer-funded clinics cannot refer women for abortions and that organizations that do provide abortions must separate into different facilities next year, something that will almost certainly put the majority of remaining abortion providers out of business.
Effective immediately, family planning clinics that are funded by taxpayers must stop referring women for abortions, the Trump administration said Monday. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department formally notified clinics that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions.
HHS issued the notification ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics. In addition to the rule on separate finances, another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof will take effect next year.
Religious conservatives hailed the new regulation, while medical organizations and women's rights groups denounced it. The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following "an ideological agenda" that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.
The rule is widely seen as a blow against Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately. The organization is a mainstay of the federally funded family planning program and it has threatened to quit over the issue.
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in a statement that "our doors are still open" as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court. "We will not stop fighting for all those across the country in need of essential care," Wen said.
HHS said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the litigation proceeds.
Clare Coleman, president of the umbrella group National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said, "The administration's actions show its intent is to further an ideological agenda."
So as of now, abortion clinics that take any taxpayer money are effectively out of business, or soon will be. As a direct result of the new rules, Planned Parenthood has removed its president, Dr. Leana Wen.
Planned Parenthood on Tuesday removed its president after less than a year in the job, seeking new leadership at a time when abortion rights have come under increasing attack from statehouses and Republicans in Washington.
The move came after hours of negotiations Tuesday between the board of directors and the president, Leana Wen, according to two people familiar with the decision.
Dr. Wen had been the first physician to lead the organization in decades. The people familiar with the move said there had been internal strife over her management, and that the group felt it needed a more aggressive political leader to fight the efforts to roll back access to abortions.
The board voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint Alexis McGill Johnson, the co-founder of the Perception Institute, an anti-bias research group, to temporarily replace Dr. Wen, the people said. Ms. McGill will serve as acting president and chief executive of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nonprofit that provides health care services, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its political arm.
Dr. Wen wrote on Twitter after the news broke: “I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting. We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”
In a joint statement, Aimee Cunningham and Jennie Rosenthal, the chairwomen of the two Planned Parenthood boards, said, “We thank Dr. Leana Wen for her service to Planned Parenthood in such a pivotal time and extend our best wishes for her continued success.”
Wen backed the organization away from political fights, saying that inserting politics into women's health care was detrimental. Of course, this meant Planned Parenthood was unarmed when walking into fights with the Trump regime, and they've lost every fight since Wen took over for Cecile Richards. Planned Parenthood needed a fighter and not an administrator.
Here's hoping Alexis Johnson is willing to go the mats.
Meanwhile, we grow closer to Gilead and criminalizing failure to give birth when pregnant, reducing women to breeding machines...