Funds threat won’t end Planned Parenthood abortion referrals

February 28, 2019 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Planned Parenthood of Illinois says it will continue providing abortion referrals despite the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding under a new rule enacted by the Trump administration.

The rule issued last week bars taxpayer-funded family-planning clinics from making abortion referrals and requires clinics to be physically and financially separate from abortion providers, The Chicago Tribune reported.


Clinic staff would still be permitted to discuss abortion with clients, but it would no longer be required.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois will no longer take federal money from the Title X family-planning program if the rule goes into effect in two months, officials said.

“We will not violate our own medical ethics, and because of what the gag rule does, which blocks patients from getting accurate information about their care, we won’t accept the money,” said Julie Lynn, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Planned Parenthood received nearly $2.5 million from Title X from September 2018 through March 2019, according to the government.

Critics of the rule say it targets Planned Parenthood. Supporters argue the rule expands resources since providers who are opposed to abortion will now be able to accept Title X funding without having to provide resources related to abortion.

The rule “makes notable improvements designed to increase the number of patients served and improve the quality of their care,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Friday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is one of nine Democratic governors who sent the department a letter Tuesday saying they may take legal action if the rule stands.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson also said Monday that he plans to sue to challenge the policy, calling it “a transparent attack on Planned Parenthood” that would severely impair access to many types of medical care, especially for low-income women in rural areas.


Information from: Chicago Tribune,