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Planned Parenthood loses federal funding for contraception, cancer screening and STD tests

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

* Last Friday

Millions of low-income women could lose access to birth control and other reproductive health services when a Trump administration rule kicks in Monday night that bans funding for clinics that make abortion referrals, among other restrictions.

The new policy steers federal dollars toward anti-abortion, faith-based providers and bans all participating doctors from giving women information about obtaining abortions, which critics call a “gag rule.” Going beyond longstanding restrictions on using federal money for abortions, the rule also cuts off family planning dollars to clinics that use their own money to provide abortions. Some providers who oppose the new policy already have stopped using federal Title X family planning dollars while they await a possible federal appeals court ruling that could block it. That’s allowed Planned Parenthood, as well as states including Oregon, Washington and Illinois, to technically stay in the program without having to follow the new rule.

But that could all change in the next few days. HHS says midnight on Monday is the deadline for providers to prove they’re following the rule or be thrown out of the program and forced to forfeit grants worth tens of millions of dollars a year.

* Yesterday…

Today, August 19, 2019, The Trump-Pence administration is forcing Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) and other providers out of the national program for birth control and reproductive health care — Title X — through an unethical gag rule. Over 100,000 people in Illinois rely on Title X to access basic health care like cancer screenings, annual wellness exams, birth control, and STI testing and treatment. PPIL operates one in five Title X health centers in Illinois, and serves more than 42 percent of Title X contraceptive clients. PPIL is the only Title X provider in six counties in Central Illinois: LaSalle, Macon, McLane, Peoria, Sangamon, and Tazewell.

Community health centers throughout Illinois say there is no way they will be able to fill the gap when Planned Parenthood health centers are no longer allowed to serve these patients. This move by the Trump-Pence administration puts affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, with an even greater impact on communities in poverty and rural communities.

Title X subsidizes family planning and preventive services for low-income families. It grew out of federal subsidies to help low-income families obtain birth control as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1965. The current program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act (Public Law 91-572), passed the Senate unanimously and the House overwhelmingly in 1970, and was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.

Below is a statement attributed to Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

“Planned Parenthood being forced out of the Title X program due to the unethical gag rule is a devastating blow to Illinois residents, especially in Central Illinois. In the short term, we have emergency funds to continue providing services for our patients, which is our number one priority. However, this is not a permanent solution nor is this gap in funding something that can be covered through private philanthropy.

“Illinois is a haven for reproductive health care but the Trump-Pence administration is sidestepping the choices of local residents. We will continue to fight for the rights of all Illinois residents to have access to abortion information, birth control and health care.”

* Capitol News Illinois

“The Trump administration’s gag rule is fundamentally wrong,” Pritzker said in a telephone news conference Monday. “This policy has caused a mess of confusion and uncertainty, destabilizing women’s health care nationwide and doing extraordinary harm to the lives of patients, particularly women of color.” […]

In Illinois, the state Department of Public Health typically receives about $4 million a year, which it distributes to various public health clinics in the state. Planned Parenthood of Illinois receives about another $3.5 million, while Aunt Martha’s receives about $500,000.

The money is used to pay for such services as contraception, cancer screening and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, among other things.

Since the program’s inception in 1970, federal law has prohibited recipients from using Title X money to pay for abortions. But abortion opponents have for years wanted the ban to go further by prohibiting money from going to any organization that provides abortion services or refers women to abortion providers, even if the funding for those services comes from separate sources. That’s essentially what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did earlier this year when it announced its new rule.

* Public Radio

Planned Parenthood is the sole Title X provider in Peoria, Tazewell, Sangamon, LaSalle, Macon and McLean counties. Pritzker said the agency served 70,000 people in Illinois in the last fiscal year.

Planned Parenthood officials declined to put a number on the expected financial impact on their bottom line in the Monday conference call.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the rule’s implementation last week as a court battle moves forward.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    Have fun with suburban women voters, GOP.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    ===Have fun with suburban women voters, GOP.===

    It’s a disaster for GOP hopes.

    Moderate indie suburban women are being left out of the GOP


  3. - Title X - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    How is prioritizing faith-based providers not a violation of the Establishment Clause?


  4. - Jocko - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    The Trump administration’s idea of reproductive health is making sure storks can carry newborns long distances. /s


  5. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Illinois is a haven for reproductive health care. Thats a good one.


  6. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    So losing money for cancer screenings means more deaths at worst certainly higher costs as cancer diagnosis are missed. Same with STD screening, just as Al Capone.


  7. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    A friend of mine is alive today because she was able to get free cancer screening at a Planned Parenthood, back when she was in law school and had no money and no insurance.

    Expect this gag rule to lead to:
    - higher abortion rates
    - higher STD rates
    - higher maternal death rates

    All because of pro-life groups and their unrelenting obsession with controlling everything about women and their health care choices.

    And yes, steering those funds toward faith-based providers is a violation of the establishment clause.


  8. - Unpopular - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    So….is there anything that the other side of the argument has to say?


  9. - Jibba - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    Abortion is a legal medical procedure. It astounds me that the Trump administration can prevent health care providers from speaking about legal choices available to patients as part of a federal grant. Unethical at the minimum, but doubtful that this SC will call it illegal. I guess if you can’t win at the ballot box, you take the low road.

    And BDD, hope you are recovering from your snark attack.


  10. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    Republican Leader’s Brady & Durkin just saw any chance of regaining those lost suburban seats disappear. They were lost to women. Add the potential of a recession hitting before the 2020 election and this could be an absolute drubbing.


  11. - Get a Job - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    I’m not sure if I’d consider myself the other side of the argument, but I do think PP shares some blame here for any potential cuts to services. Sure the administration made this rule for a reason, but PP could choose to abide by it and not lose money and continue to perform all those cancer, birth control and other services at the levels they always have. The rule doesn’t prohibit them from performing abortions, it just says they cannot refer customers.

    This means that PP is making a choice to willingly forgo federal funding due to their unwillingness to comply with the rule. Like it or not, Planned Parenthood has decided what is more important to them & they chose to leave the federal funds on the table.


  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    “Like it or not, Planned Parenthood has decided what is more important to them & they chose to leave the federal funds on the table.” Gosh, you make it sound like they actually have integrity.


  13. - Jibba - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===.The rule doesn’t prohibit them from performing abortions===

    Get a Job…see the article…”prohibiting money from going to any organization that provides abortion services or refers women to abortion providers”

    PP is choosing to fight rather than appease. Sounds like the right choice when facing unethical and extra-legislative behavior. And bad politics for the GOP in places like Illinois.


  14. - lakeside - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    @Get a Job: They changed the rules to force this decision in the hopes that folks would blame providers. It would have been something else if not this. BTW “customers” - my my.

    Hard for me to consider the politics of this at the moment, though I think the above commenters are correct. The action the admin forced PP and other providers to take yesterday will put people in economic peril, spread STIs and kill people who can’t get the screenings and treatment they need. It’s so pathetic and only hurts those that need care the most.


  15. - Title X - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    =Like it or not, Planned Parenthood has decided what is more important to them & they chose to leave the federal funds on the table.=

    PP provides scientifically accurate medical care and information. This includes informing patients of their options. Complying with this rule would prevent them from doing that.


  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    And God said, “Go, be fruitless and nullify.” Right, comrades? It boggles my mind that the “pro-life” movement never ceases to pass up support for policy that will actually increase the number of abortions. There is never an attempt to reduce the number, only callous criticism.


  17. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    This is good stuff. After the new state is created , the Eastern Bloc gets to keep the Land of Lincoln motto and Chicago can be known as the Safe Haven state.


  18. - Pundent - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    =This is good stuff. After the new state is created , the Eastern Bloc gets to keep the Land of Lincoln motto and Chicago can be known as the Safe Haven state.=

    That you would purposely mock reproductive health care, which prevents far more greater numbers of unwanted pregnancies, says a lot. I’m sure suburban women are standing up an applauding your callous attempt at humor.


  19. - Proud - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem, I think if the Eastern Bloc gets its way it will be Chicago and Gillead-the state formally known as Illinois.


  20. - Macon County - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===Planned Parenthood is the sole Title X provider in Peoria, Tazewell, Sangamon, LaSalle, Macon and McLean counties. Pritzker said the agency served 70,000 people in Illinois in the last fiscal year.===

    That’s actually not true.


  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 5:48 pm:

    Pundent. Some people call it abortion. Others murder. Others reproductive health care.


  22. - Pundent - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 8:52 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem - I realize that reading is not one of your strengths. All that time conversing with your disgruntled “friends” likely leaves scant time for that. The reproductive health care in question here is access to contraceptives, STD tests and cancer screenings. The fact that you would cheer this tells us a lot about your character. And BTW the contraceptives that you would so happily deny women access to reduce the likelihood of unwanted pregnancies.


  23. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 9:02 pm:

    Pundent. You are funny. I could give two cents over the abortion issue. Mrs. BLUE, however, is adamantly opposed to it. But if you think for one second that this whole exercise isnt over abortion, well , ya aint too smart.


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