HHS proposing stripping Title X funding from clinics providing, referring abortions

A proposed regulation from HHS would prevent any healthcare organizations which provides abortions or make referrals for patients to receive abortions from being getting federal family planning funds in a program known as Title X.

As NPR reports, Title X provides $260 million for reproductive health services. Direct federal funding for abortions has been prohibited by Congress for decades, but conservative lawmakers have sought to deny all federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood for having any involvement in abortion services.

Under President Ronald Reagan, a similar rule was proposed but never fully implemented, before being rescinded years later under President Bill Clinton.

Before the rule was even proposed, HHS had been sued by Planned Parenthood and other groups, arguing it goes against what Congress intended in creating Title X.

"This 'gag rule' is not only unconscionable, but it undermines medical ethics by forcing health care professionals to withhold accurate and timely medical information from patients," Jenn Conti, MD, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, said in a statement.

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