The nation’s largest provider of reproductive health services, including abortions, will exit the federal family planning program over the Trump administration’s “domestic gag rule,” which prohibits clinics receiving Title X funds from discussing abortions with patients.
Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood Federation of America acting president and CEO, told reporters Monday that its clinics receiving Title X grants would begin submitting notices of withdrawal. The Department of Health and Human Services is requiring clinics to submit compliance plans by the end of the day.
“I want our patients to know, while the Trump administration may have given up on you,” she said, “we never will.”
McGill Johnson said the impact would be outsized in states such as Utah, where Planned Parenthood is the only Title X recipient, and called on the Senate to pass a bill invalidating the rule. In June, the House included a provision in its fiscal 2020 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill to overturn the rule.
Last week, a federal court rejected Planned Parenthood’s plea for intervention ahead of Monday’s deadline, forcing it to choose between its commitment to abortion access or continuing to receive federal grant money. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month the rule could take effect while litigation proceeds in three separate cases led by California, Oregon and Washington state. The court will hear oral arguments in the cases the week of Sept. 23 in San Francisco.
Planned Parenthood, along a number of other states and organizations, had already announced it would forego federal funds to continue providing information about abortions to patients. Clinics are already prohibited from using federal funds to provide abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.