The president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, said on Sunday that the Trump administration’s new rule to prevent family planning grants from going to groups that provide, promote, or refer abortions would result in women not having access to the procedure, even if it saved their lives.
“This is a gag rule because what President Trump is doing is to put a gag on doctors like me to prevent us from providing our patients with full and accurate medical information,” Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen told National Public Radio (NPR) on Weekend Edition Sunday. “So if you are a woman who goes to a health center that receives public funding, you cannot be referred to abortion care, even if your life depends on it.”
“This gag rule is unethical and unconscionable,” Wen told NPR, which is supported, in part, by taxpayers.
As Breitbart News reported:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new rule that could block about $60 million in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers who refer girls and women for abortions.
The new regulation, which governs Title X, the federal grant program that provides funding for family planning services, prohibits the use of the funds to “perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”
The rule intends to provide a clear line between abortion and family planning.
But Wen and NPR portrayed the rule, which aimed to prevent taxpayers from footing the bill for aborting babies, as preventing health care for women, especially low-income women — a demographic that Planned Parenthood targets by locating abortion clinics in specific neighborhoods.
“Life Issues Institute documented in its 2012 research that Planned Parenthood targets women of color for abortion by placing 79 percent of its surgical abortion facilities within walking distance of minority neighborhoods,” LifeSiteNews reported.
Wen, however, claimed medical ethics were at stake because of the new rule.
“I’ve read that you won’t accept funds under the new rules,” NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro said in the interview.
“Planned Parenthood will never force our doctors and nurses to compromise their ethics,” Wen said. “We will never let politicians censor our health care providers and erode the trust that our patients have placed in us, which is to provide them with compassionate, judgment-free and comprehensive care.”
“That’s our promise to our patients,” Wen said.
Garcia-Navarro pointed out that if Planned Parenthood separated its abortion operations from other health care services, it could still get federal family planning grants.
“The new rules say there needs to be clear physical and financial separation between government-funded services and abortion-related services,” Garcia-Navarro said.
“This Title X gag rule isn’t about providing good medical care,” Wen responded. “It only does one thing, which is to restrict patients’ access to reproductive health care.”
“It has no basis in medicine or science,” Wen said. “And the only effect is going to be preventing 4 million Americans from receiving basic health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, affordable birth control and STI tests.”
Wen claimed that the rule discriminates against women of color and low-income women despite statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 Abortion Surveillance Report that show that black women make up 14 percent of the childbearing population, but black women represent 36.2 percent of reported abortions.
“I think it’s important to talk about the individuals who it will affect the most,” Wen said. “It will disproportionately affect those who already face the greatest barriers to care.”
“It’s women of color and families of low income,” Wen said. “And we need to talk about the discrimination involved here because if you are wealthy and you have private insurance, you can still get the best medical care.”
But Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has served as co-chairman of the House pro-life caucus, celebrated the new rule.
“The Title X Program can now finally return to its originally intended purpose — the provision of family planning services, not abortions,” Smith said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “Title X funding was never intended to facilitate Planned Parenthood’s hideous dismemberment, chemical poisoning, or deliberate starvation and forced expulsion of a defenseless unborn baby.”
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