Trump administration enforces ban on abortion talk at federal family planning clinics

The Trump administration officially started enforcing its changes to Title X federal family planning funding this week, preventing doctors who receive that money from referring patients for abortions elsewhere.

Federal money already does not pay for abortion services, but the Title X change (being called the "Gag Rule" as it prevents doctors who receive federal money from even mentioning that abortion is an option) goes further. Where financial separation was already required, physical separation between clinics that get federal money and provide abortion services is also required under the new rules, a move aimed at clinics like those run by Planned Parenthood.

The rule had been blocked from taking effect until late June, when a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held it was likely the Trump administration would win its case, and ended national injunctions.

On July 3, the full 9th Circuit agreed to look at the case, but by July 11 the court made it clear it wouldn't be blocking the rule during that process, leading to the announcement this week that the government would start enforcing the change.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho assured patients it would continue to serve them.

"Our doors are still open. We will not stop fighting for patients in need of essential care," the local Planned Parenthood organization said on its Facebook page July 16. "We will not stop working to block this dangerous and unethical rule that allows the government to censor our doctors and nurses from doing their jobs."

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...