TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Planned Parenthood is withdrawing from the U.S. government’s family planning program.
The group said Monday that it decided to pull out of the program rather than obey a new Trump administration rule that forbids clinics from referring women for abortions, the Associated Press reported. Planned Parenthood’s health centers across the United States will remain open, and the group will attempt to replace the loss of federal funding, but many low-income people who rely on the group’s services will “delay or go without” care, according to acting president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson.
A lawsuit to overturn the new rule was launched by the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, an umbrella group for family planning clinics, and several states and the American Medical Association have joined the suit as plaintiffs, the AP reported. The lawsuit was filed with a federal appeals court in San Francisco, but the court has not told the administration that it cannot begin enforcement as planned on Sept. 18. Oral arguments are scheduled the week of Sept. 23.
Abortion rights activists are also urging Congress to overturn the rule, the AP reported. About 4 million women get services under the family planning program, which distributes $260 million in grants to clinics. Planned Parenthood says it has assisted about 40 percent of those women, many of them black and Hispanic.