The Trump administration announced Friday (February 22) that they plan to divert federal funding from healthcare groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals, consequently targeting healthcare that helps LGBTQ people and women, reported Gay Star News.
According to critics, this gag rule will defund organizations like Planned Parenthood, moving the money to faith-based groups. The gag rule, which was first introduced last year, will also prevent these health organizations from referring their patients to abortion services while maintaining a “clear physical and financial separation” between government-funded services and organizations that perform abortions.
The funding in question that will be taken away comes from Title X, originally enacted in 1970 to provide money to groups that offer family planning and related services. $286 million is currently given to these groups through Title X.
Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest healthcare organizations to be affected by this proposed cut, as they are often portrayed as pro-abortion by anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List.
The administration has put health care providers in the Title X program in an impossible position: withhold information from its patients or get pushed out of the program.
“[The gag rule is a] decisive action to disentangle taxpayers form the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
While Planned Parenthood does perform abortions – which not only affect straight cis women but also lesbians, bisexual women, and trans people – in 2013-2014, abortions only accounted for 3 percent of their services, according to NPR.
Planned Parenthood also recently introduced PrEP counseling for gay/bisexual men and trans people, as well as hormone therapy for trans individuals. A cut in funding that targets abortions would limit these other healthcare services, as well.
“This is a dangerous and life-threatening attack by Trump and Pence that will effectively dismantle the Title X program,” said HRC Preisdent Chad Griffin in a statement, “which provides reproductive care to millions, including women, LGBTQ people, people of color, people with a low income, and others. We must fight this.”