15 votes

Trump Administration Blocks Funds for Planned Parenthood and Others Over Abortion Referrals

7 comments

  1. [6]
    eladnarra Link
    This feels very familiar to me - legislation often doesn't ban abortion, it just imposes unreasonable and unnecessary requirements (such as admitting privileges) that force clinics to close. In...

    The rule announced on Friday is not a wholesale defunding of Planned Parenthood, a long-held goal of conservatives. Organizations receiving money through the federal family planning program, called Title X, will still be able to perform abortions but will have to do so in a separate facility from their other operations and adhere to the new requirement that they not refer patients to it.
    [...]
    Title X provides $286 million in funding for programs that provide services like birth control, screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. These programs serve about 4 million patients each year, many of them poor, at more than 4,000 clinics. About 40 percent of those clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood, which receives close to $60 million through the family planning program each year.

    This feels very familiar to me - legislation often doesn't ban abortion, it just imposes unreasonable and unnecessary requirements (such as admitting privileges) that force clinics to close. In this case, clinics like Planned Parenthood could technically retain funding, but they'd have to incur greater costs by renting separate facilities and would be unable to refer patients to them. What good is being able to tell someone that they can get an abortion if you can't tell them where to go or forward their medical records?

    Conservative lawmakers hailed the new rule as a long overdue move back toward the Reagan policy, and some were especially pleased by the prospect that anti-abortion health providers could now be eligible for federal family planning funds.

    This really concerns me. Crisis pregnancy centers are already a major problem, and I know of at least one case in Texas where an anti-abortion group squandered funds and failed horribly to serve the number of patients they projected. These groups will pretend to step up to fill Planned Parenthood's shoes and be unable to meet demand (and provide incomplete services).

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      PaKYr Link Parent
      I really have a lot of trouble understanding the justifications for these measures, considering abortions performed by Planned Parenthood aren't payed for using tax dollars. In fact., federal law...

      I really have a lot of trouble understanding the justifications for these measures, considering abortions performed by Planned Parenthood aren't payed for using tax dollars. In fact., federal law prohibits money from being used to pay for abortions excepting those occurring under extenuating circumstances, a policy which, itself, should probably be changed. What conservatives are now trying to do is prohibit any organisation that receives federal dollars for any health services from performing abortions (that can't be payed for using those dollars), which is ridiculous.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        base_class Link Parent
        The part that really bugs me is that Planned Parenthood provides services other than abortion, such as sex education and pregnancy prevention and birth control. According to this CNN article from...

        The part that really bugs me is that Planned Parenthood provides services other than abortion, such as sex education and pregnancy prevention and birth control. According to this CNN article from a few years ago, only 3% percent of their services are abortions.
        A lot of articles and studies suggest that these services have resulted in a reduction of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. One would think this should be the goal of the conservative lawmakers who are against funding it.

        5 votes
        1. MarkusG Link Parent
          That 3% statistic has been proven to be misleading. 3% of all of their "discrete interactions" are abortions, but they're pretty liberal on how they count those interactions. From The Washington Post:

          That 3% statistic has been proven to be misleading. 3% of all of their "discrete interactions" are abortions, but they're pretty liberal on how they count those interactions.

          From The Washington Post:

          While each service is listed separately, many clients received multiple services. A woman may get a pregnancy test, birth control and a pap smear, but she would be counted three times, once for each service, in the annual report.

          1 vote
        2. eladnarra Link Parent
          One would think so... If the only goal is to reduce abortions and save "babies," it would make sense for conservative lawmakers to be in favor of comprehensive sex education, contraception,...

          One would think so... If the only goal is to reduce abortions and save "babies," it would make sense for conservative lawmakers to be in favor of comprehensive sex education, contraception, healthcare, and welfare that supports pregnant people before and after birth.

          There's a blogger who was previously pro-life that writes about this - in one long post, she describes how she changed her mind and the realization she came to about the real motivations behind the movement.

          If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

          But I am very sure that there are other dupes out there. If you’re sitting there reading this thinking “but I really am in it to save unborn babies,” I am sure you’re not alone. After all, I was one of you.

          In a recent post of hers, she touches on another aspect of the motivation behind anti-abortion groups, and why arguments in favor of increasing access to birth control will not work on many people.

          [...] conservatives’ positions on abortion stems not simply from their claim that abortion is murder (a position evangelicals did not hold until the 1970s), but also from a more holistic position on women’s role in the world
          [...]
          Those who oppose abortion also tend to hold traditional gender ideals. They see the home and children as the natural sphere for women. They see women in the workforce as a bad thing. When this is the perspective a person is coming from, abortion is suspect even if it isn’t murder. Abortion, after all, takes women from her natural sphere of motherhood and the home.

          1 vote
      2. eladnarra Link Parent
        Yeah, it's really ridiculous. Your point about the Hyde Amendment is important - somehow people still have the impression that the government "pays for abortions." This is sometimes used by pro-...

        Yeah, it's really ridiculous.

        Your point about the Hyde Amendment is important - somehow people still have the impression that the government "pays for abortions." This is sometimes used by pro- choice folks in arguments like "but we don't pay for them so anti-abortion folks should be okay with it," when really we should be arguing against it. How is it okay that low-income folks can only get them covered in cases like rape or medical danger?

        I didn't think about it until I saw a tweet by a healthcare policy wonk, but the Hyde Amendment is also a huge issue for M4A plans currently floating around. It's bad enough as it is, but if it applied to everyone in the country?

        2 votes
  2. moriarty Link
    Except guess who just made it to the Supreme Court

    The new federal rule is almost certain to be challenged in court.

    Except guess who just made it to the Supreme Court

    2 votes