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Trump to deny funds to family planning clinics that discuss abortion

Trump is to announce the move today.

Donald Trump speaks to participants of the annual March for Life event, in the Rose Garden of the White House in January.
Donald Trump speaks to participants of the annual March for Life event, in the Rose Garden of the White House in January.
Image: Manuel Balce Ceneta

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is resurrecting a Reagan-era rule that would ban federally funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women, or sharing space with abortion providers.

A senior White House official said the Department of Health and Human Services will be announcing its proposal today.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to confirm the plans before the announcement.

The policy has been derided as a “gag rule” by abortion rights supporters and medical groups, and it is likely to trigger lawsuits that could keep it from taking effect.

However, it’s guaranteed to galvanise activists on both sides of the abortion debate ahead of the congressional midterm elections.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure in the United States. Doctors’ groups and abortion rights supporters say a ban on counselling women trespasses on the doctor-patient relationship.

Abortion opponents say a taxpayer-funded family planning programme should have no connection whatsoever to abortion.

“The notion that you would withhold information from a patient does not uphold or preserve their dignity,” said Jessica Marcella of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents family planning clinics. “I cannot imagine a scenario in which public health groups would allow this effort to go unchallenged.”

She said requiring family planning clinics to be physically separate from facilities in which abortion is provided would disrupt services for women across the country.

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Associated Press

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