Planned Parenthood suddenly ousts CEO Dr. Leana Wen

Planned Parenthood suddenly ousts CEO Dr. Leana Wen

Laurie Field, Hawaii state director for Planned Parenthood Votes, said Planned Parenthood aims to protect family planning and health services for almost 20,000 patients of Title X funded clinics in Hawaii.

WASHINGTON | The Trump administration has told federally funded family planning clinics it is considering a delay in enforcing a controversial rule that bars them from referring women for abortions.

Pro-life advocates have praised the regulations as a commonsense way to ensure enforcement of already-existing rules against taxpayer money being used for abortions.

The administration's policy is aimed at fulfilling President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to end federal support for Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in the United States.

"Without reducing Title X funding by a dime, the Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund".

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D, announced Thursday that the state would forfeit its estimated $2.4 million in family planning funds, shared by 28 organizations. Planned Parenthood disputed her claim about a secret meeting.

Title X does not pay for abortions, but recipients have in the past been able to refer patients for abortion. Its Augusta office is the only one that offers surgical abortions, although every clinic across the state provides medical abortions.

The administration's new policy also requires financial and physical separation between facilities funded by Title X and those actually providing abortions.

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In a rare Saturday night notice to Planned Parenthood affiliates, state governments and other organizations that receive federal family planning grants, Health and Human Services Department officials wrote that no group would be penalized yet for failing to obey with this and other rule changes.

HHS received $4.1 million in Title X funds in April to disburse to nearly 70 service sites, many of which are Planned Parenthood affiliates, The Hill reports.

Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said the state would forgo all federal Title X funding while the Trump administration continues to impose its restriction - branded by critics as a "gag rule" created to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options. The family planning program serves about 4 million women a year, and many low-income women get basic health care from the clinics. It has been frequently updated and subject to new regulations.

The abortion vendor joined Maine Family Planning, another provider that receives Title X funding, in announcing the decision to continue abortion referrals and forgo the federal family planning dollars.

Planned Parenthood is in the midst of a leadership upheaval, after its board abruptly ousted the organization's president this week.

"To counter those who associate the organization with only abortion and use this misconception to attack its mission, I wanted to tell the story of all of its services - and in so doing, to normalize abortion care as the health care it is", Wen said.

Wen said that she firmly believes Planned Parenthood to be fundamentally about health care, and has spent her eight months as president focusing on patient care and the promotion of reproductive rights as health care.

Wen was appointed head of Planned Parenthood in September 2018, following the 12-year presidency of Cecile Richards. Dr. Wen said she thought "the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a healthcare one, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights", according to the report.

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