On Friday, the Trump administration began drawing up a policy that could withhold taxpayer dollars from clinics that refer women for abortions.
According to PBS:
Clinics who receive federal funding for family planning will no longer be mandated to tell women about abortion as an option, and they will not be able to refer women to specific clinics for abortions, a change from current policy.
On top of that, the buildings where abortions are performed must be completely separate from other women’s health services. For clinics that provide abortions or referral services, like Planned Parenthood, that could mean no federal funding for those facilities.
This policy is similar to a Reagan-era directive, but more limited in scope.
Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, denounced the administration’s move on Friday.
During a radio interview, Richards was asked: “Can you respond to the basic assertion being made there that some people are profoundly morally opposed to abortion, and they just don’t want the federal government to have anything to do with it – so just cut it off, set it to the side? Why not?”
This is a right that was established for women in this country more than 40 years ago. And if people don’t support abortion, they don’t have to have one.
For context, in the recorded interview below, Richards is speaking about the Reagan-era policy that would have barred providers from even telling women about abortion as an option. Although that rule “never went into effect as written … the Supreme Court ruled that it was an appropriate use of executive power,” according to the Associated Press.
The policy being considered by the Trump administration wouldn’t go as far as the Reagan-era policy; it wouldn’t be a “gag rule,” as abortion proponents called it. However, this policy would disallow referrals for abortions, and mandate that “buildings where abortions are performed must be completely separate from other women’s health services,” as PBS noted.
Here’s the full video (pertinent portion begins at the 3:00 mark):