PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Obama administration proposed a new rule that would block states from defunding Planned Parenthood or other Title X-funded healthcare providers due to political reasons.
The Department of Health and Human Services proposed the rule in the week before President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, according to the Huffington Post.
The new rule says that states cannot withhold Title X funds from recipients like Planned Parenthood for any reason other than the provider’s “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”
That means states will no longer have the ability to vote to defund Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortion services.
Politicians in 11 states previously voted to withhold Title X funds from Planned Parenthood for that very reason, according to the New York Times.
But Title X funds have never been used to pay for abortions at any clinics across the United States, even Planned Parenthood. Title X funds cover contraceptive services, pregnancy testing and counseling, STD and cancer screenings, among other things.
Section 1001 of Title X of the Public Health Service Act ensures the federally-funded services do not include abortion as a method of family planning.
The Obama administration’s new rule won’t change that — Title X funds still cannot be used to cover abortions. But the rule will block states from using abortion or other political motives to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding.
“This will make a real difference in so many people’s lives,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told the Huffington Post. “Thanks to the Obama administration, women will still be able to access the birth control they need to plan their families, and the cancer screenings they need to stay healthy.”
The rule will likely become permanent after a 30-day public comment period.