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Trump administration to announce federal funding restrictions for abortion-related services

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A new Trump administration plan would further curb abortion-related services. Under the new rule, abortion-related services would have to be performed in a different location and by different employees, in order to continue receiving federal family planning dollars. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s administration plans to announce a new rule today to ban abortions at facilities that receive federal family planning funding, according to published reports. The move reinforces the Trump administration's efforts to curtail abortions.

How did this happen?

Conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressuring M. Azar II, the secretary of Health and Human Services, to tighten the rules on federal funding, the New York Times reported.

Current laws already prevent federal dollars from directly funding abortions. But Planned Parenthood and similar groups still accept federal funding for services such as annual checkups and screenings.

Pro-life activists have argued for years that since money is fungible, the government is still effectively funding abortion by providing taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.

"This proposal does not necessarily de-fund Planned Parenthood, as long as they're willing to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning, which is required by the Title X law," a Trump administration official told CNN. "Any grantees that perform, support, or refer for abortion have a choice — disentangle themselves from abortion or fund their activities with privately raised funds."

Under the new rule, abortion-related services would have to be performed in a different location and by different employees, in order to continue receiving federal family planning dollars, the report states.

What funding is used?

Most of the funding Planned Parenthood receives comes from Medicaid, and would not be affected by the new rule, according to the report.

The policy would mark a return to what former President Ronald Reagan put into place in 1988. That policy required abortion services to be physically separated and have separate personnel from other family planning activities.

 

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