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Biden administration lifts abortion referral ban on family planning clinics

This comes as battles over abortion grow sharper from Texas to the US Supreme Court.

Image: Mary Altaffer via PA Images

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION has reversed a ban on abortion referrals by family planning clinics, lifting a Trump-era restriction as battles over abortion grow sharper from Texas to the US Supreme Court.

The Department of Health and Human Services said its new regulation will restore the federal family planning programme to the way it ran under the Obama administration, when clinics were able to refer women seeking abortions to a provider.

Groups representing the clinics said they hope the Biden administration action will lead hundreds of service providers that left in protest over Trump’s policies to return, helping to stabilise a longstanding programme that has been shaken by the coronavirus pandemic on top of ideological battles.

Known as Title X, the taxpayer-funded programme makes available more than $250 million a year to clinics to provide birth control and basic healthcare services mainly to low-income women.

Under former president Donald Trump, clinics were barred from referring patients for abortions, prompting a mass exit by service providers affiliated with Planned Parenthood, as well as several states and other independent organisations.

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