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Planned Parenthood set to exit federal family planning program unless court intervenes

The abortion provider's withdrawal from Title X could happen in days

Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Planned Parenthood says it will have no other choice but to withdraw from the federal family planning program known as Title X, unless an appeals court steps in to halt new rules put in place by the Trump administration.

What are the details?

The abortion provider is involved in a lawsuit seeking to overturn a revision of Title X put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services in February, which states that no funds appropriated to the program "may be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning and related statutory requirements."

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Erica Sackin told The Associated Press that unless the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco intervenes, the organization's clinics "will be formally out of the Title X program" by Monday. The organization also sent a letter on Wednesday pleading with the court to stop the new rules, saying otherwise it "will be forced to withdraw" from the family planning program by close of business on Aug. 19.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously rejected efforts to stop the Trump administration's Title X rule change from moving forward.

According to Politico, Planned Parenthood's exit from Title X could cost the organization around $60 million annually. NPR reported that Planned Parenthood has been involved in Title X since the federal family planning program was started in the early 1970's.

Anything else?

Pro-abortion activists have called the new Title X restrictions a "gag rule." Planned Parenthood's acting president and CEO, Alexis McGill Johnson, issued a statement on Wednesday saying, in part:

The Trump administration is targeting providers like Planned Parenthood in an attempt to end access to birth control and other reproductive health care...Unless the 9th Circuit Court intervenes, this gag rule will destroy the Title X program — putting birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment at risk for millions of people struggling to make ends meet. This is a blatant assault on our health and rights, and we will not stand for it.

Pro-life advocates refer to the new Title X restrictions as the "Protect Life Rule." Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser issued a statement on the proposal last year, saying:

We thank President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, is responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year and has been receiving $50-60 million in Title X taxpayers funds annually. The Protect Life Rule doesn't cut a single dime from family planning. It instead directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities.
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