MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — Planned Parenthood says it’s pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting participants from referring patients for abortions, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is speaking out about it.
Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO says the organization’s nationwide network of health centers will remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money. But Alexis McGill Johnson predicts that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services will “delay or go without care.”
According to Frey, about 15,000 patients are served by Title X-funded Planned Parenthood in Minneapolis, and roughly half of them rely on the funding to be able to afford their care there.
“Minneapolis’ own Title X-funded Planned Parenthood clinic has made access to quality healthcare – including referrals for abortion – possible for thousands of people in Minneapolis. The Trump administration’s gag rule reflects a pervasive and cruel series of attempts to roll back decades of progress for reproductive rights,” Frey said. “In our city, we remain committed to supporting our residents and Planned Parenthood, a remarkable healthcare provider and community partner.”
Frey is one of more than 70 mayors who are united in their opposition to the new rule.
Frey was also not alone among Minnesota politicians in speaking out after the decision, with Sen. Tina Smith saying, “The Trump Administration’s move to force Planned Parenthood to withdraw from the Title X family planning program after decades of partnership will limit access to basic health care for families nationwide. In Minnesota, Planned Parenthood serves 90 percent of Title X patients. These patients should not have the health care information they get from their providers limited by politicians. That’s what this Trump rule does. Not only does this threaten preventive health care that thousands of people in our state rely on to live healthy lives, it violates something I deeply respect—the ability of each person to make informed decisions about their health care.”
Rep. Dean Phillips called the decision “dreadful news” and added, “I continue to be appalled by the Trump Administration’s assault on the health care of Minnesotans. … Hardened ideological politics have no place in an exam room, especially when they prevent care providers from giving their patients sound medical advice. We must forcefully oppose this gag rule and work to ensure that every American has access to the health care they need.”
Minnesota’s House Speaker Melissa Hortman said, “DFLers in the Legislature will continue working to make sure all Minnesotans can get the full range of reproductive health care they need.”
About 4 million women are served nationwide under the Title X program, which distributes $260 million in grants to clinics. Planned Parenthood says it has served about 40% of patients.
A federal appeals court is weighing a lawsuit to overturn the rule but has allowed the administration to begin enforcement.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)