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Obama Administration Bans States from Defunding Planned Parenthood

Obama Administration Bans States from Defunding Planned Parenthood

States are banned from defunding family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood under a new rule the Obama administration pushed through this week.

“This rule will strengthen access to essential services like cancer screenings and contraception for some of the most vulnerable patients in this country,” Chief Medical Officer Karen Scott of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, said in a statement. “Public comments showed overwhelming support for finalizing the rule, which clarifies that all organizations able to provide these services should be eligible to compete for funds.”

In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice of the proposed rule, which amended the Code of Federal Regulations to read, “No recipient making subawards for the provision of services as part of its Title X project may prohibit an entity from participating for reasons unrelated to its ability to provide services effectively.”

Title X started in 1970 and allows the Office of Population Affairs to oversee the disbursement of federal funds to assist “family planning” service organizations. States then distribute that money as they see fit.

Many have argued that Planned Parenthood should be defunded because it provides abortion services and receives some of that funding— even if that funding isn’t directly used for abortions.

Others argue that the abortion facilities also provide contraceptives and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

The new rule will take effect on Jan. 18.


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Publication date: December 15, 2016