President Donald Trump quietly signed an order Thursday that allows states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
The bill, signed without the usual pomp and circumstance of media cameras, reverses an Obama-era rule barring states from pulling money from clinics that perform abortions but also provide other family planning and medical services, CNN reported.
It has been illegal for federal dollars to be spent on abortions since the Hyde Amendment was enacted 41 years ago — federal dollars at Planned Parenthood go toward preventative health care, birth control, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings and other women’s health services.
Abortion represents less than 3 percent of services provided at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest family planning provider, according to the organization.
“[Women’s] worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to CNN.
The 100-year-old institution operates 661 clinics providing health services to 2.5 million patients every year, many of who are low income. Planned Parenthood relies on Medicaid reimbursements and Title X funding — the funding that states can pull under Trump’s order.
Title X, the federal family planning program established by President Richard Nixon in 1970, subsidizes health care services like contraception, Pap smears and others for 4 million low-income Americans. Planned Parenthood serves about 1.5 million of those people, funding their care in large part through $70 million in federal grants that it now stands to lose. It’s one piece of Planned Parenthood’s budget.
Roughly 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s operating budget — about $536 million — relies on federal dollars. Trump recently tried to cut a deal with Planned Parenthood, telling them they could keep their federal dollars if they stop performing abortions.
Planned Parenthood, of course, declined.
“We would never abandon the women who count on us in exchange for cash,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, told The New York Times at the time.