WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) — Planned Parenthood announced Monday it will walk away from millions in federal funds rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule that blocks federally funded clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.
The organization said it will withdraw from the federal program known as Title X, which provides health services, including birth control, to low-income women across the country.
In a statement from acting president and CEO, Alexis McGill Johnson said, “I want our patients to know while the Trump administration may have given up on you, Planned Parenthood never will. Our doors are open today, and our doors will be open tomorrow. The Trump administration’s gag rule will reverberate across the country. This reality will hit hardest people struggling to make ends meet- including those people in rural areas and communities of color.”
Title X participants had to decide by midnight Monday whether they would comply with the new rule. Planned Parenthood was the largest provider to opt-out.
“They have made the calculation that they can afford to say no to $60 million in Title X funds so that they can prioritize abortion. There are many organizations out there who want to participate in this women’s health care space, but they’re not willing to refer for abortions,” said Melanie Israel with Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation supports the rule, saying the money can now go to other healthcare providers.
However, Amnesty International opposes the change, saying it will make it harder for low-income women to access federally funded birth control and other services.
“This will have a majorly disproportionate impact in rural states where Planned Parenthood is sometimes the only health care provider for sexual and reproductive health care,” Tarah Demant with Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International said the rule plays into a larger political motive.
“This is part of an intention to shut down abortion in the United States by this administration,” Demant said.
Other groups across the country are following Planned Parenthood’s lead, highlighting the political divide in Congress.
After the announcement, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, tweeted,
“Planned Parenthood is clearly revealing itself to be in the business of abortion, not healthcare.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, tweeted, “The administration’s rollback of Title X is denying low-income women and families access to care.”
Planned Parenthood, along with a number of states and healthcare providers, has sued the Trump administration over the rule. Courts have allowed it to proceed.
The organization is now calling on the Senate to pass a spending bill to reverse the rule.