WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) – The Trump administration is proposing major changes to health rules that could effectively cut off millions of dollars to some health clinics.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports, the administration’s Department of Health and Human Services has gone forward with a plan that would bar taxpayer funds from clinics that provide abortions or refer people to places that do.
“You can still get an abortion in this country. You can get it in many different places. We just don’t think taxpayers should have to pay for that. And according to a Marist Knights of Columbus poll, six in 10 Americans think that taxpayers should not be funding it,” Kellyanne Conway said Friday.
But pro-choice advocates say the move is merely targeting Planned Parenthood, a principal provider of family planning, abortion services and basic preventative care.
“I think this is an issue that should enrage the American public, particularly women, because it’s an attack on them,” Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said. “It’s really important that this is something we fight, we fight through all social media.”
President Donald Trump is once again making good on another long-term promise to scale back Planned Parenthood.
“I would defund it, because of the abortion factor,” he has said.
The move will likely energize the president’s conservative base right before the upcoming midterm elections.
“He’s governing as the most pro-life president our nation’s ever had,” said Mallory Quigley, of Susan B. Anthony List. “He’s carrying out promises that we collected from him during the campaign. He’s a man of his word and he’s following through on the promises that he made on the campaign trail.”
The administration says counseling about an abortion would be OK, but referrals would not.
It’s likely to trigger lawsuits from opponents.
The Department of Health and Human Services sent its proposal to rewrite the rules to the White House, setting in motion a regulatory process that could take months.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, directing his office to help “protect and secure” the state’s family planning services.
“Today, it has been publicly reported that the White House intends to severely limit the rights of women to choose the health care they need by restricting the ability of providers to freely provide women the full range of health care options. This action is the latest in the White House’s assault on women across this country. It is contrary to the freedom of choice New York stands for and impedes the rights of all New Yorkers to access comprehensive health care,” it read in part. “We cannot and will not stand for unwarranted intrusion into the private and confidential relationship between a caregiver and a patient and with this letter I am directing you to take all steps to protect and secure family planning services.”