President Donald Trump has made it clear he wants women who get abortions to be punished. This, in itself, is abhorrent. Worse, proposed federal rules aimed at making abortions harder to get would also punish millions of women who don’t want to get pregnant or who simply need preventative healthcare.
At their core, the proposed changes to Title X, the federal family planning program, are about making it harder for women to get abortions. But, the consequences also affect family planning and women’s healthcare in general. They are especially harmful for low-income women who may rely on federally funded programs rather than private medical care.
That’s why the rule changes, like similar ones proposed nearly 30 years ago, should be stopped.
Under the proposed changes, health providers that participate in the federally funded program could not talk with women about abortion.
Women, it should be remembered, have a constitutionally protected right to abortions. Requiring providers to withhold information violates that right. Worse, medical providers are being told to violate their oath to help their patients by withholding information that the patient needs.
These proposed rule changes are extreme and unnecessary, and they will harm women who simply want to remain healthy. They should not be implemented.
– Bangor Daily News, July 14, 2018
It’s easy to think the Trump team is chaotic, impulsive, and undirected just like the president himself. But when it comes to abortion rights, the White House has an unswerving purpose: curb reproductive rights at every turn.
He’s tapping Title X federal regulations to create rules that will hamper, if not shut down, the work of Planned Parenthood and other healthcare groups. These clinics would be barred from bringing up the subject of abortion in dispensing advice to women patients. The procedures couldn’t be done on existing premises, meaning a separate facility would need to be built.
Trump once noted a truth he no longer accepts. During his run for the White House, he opposed public funds for Planned Parenthood, though he noted it gives medical care to millions of women who “are helped greatly.” In fact, only a small slice of the organization’s work involves abortion, and the money for those procedures comes from elsewhere, not Washington.
Healthcare such as cancer screenings and birth control advice are the mainstay work at such clinics, which are often the only such resource in scattered parts of the country. Antiabortion groups — and now the White House — want to demolish this essential service because a small part of it goes against their personal beliefs.
There are other parts to the pattern. Trump sits atop the federal judiciary through his appointment power, which he’s pledging to use to limit abortion rights. The White House is leaning on abstinence-only counseling to please conservatives. Overseas aid can’t be spent on abortion or related counseling.
Voters who value a woman’s right to choose should remember all of these strategies. Trump is playing to his friendly audience in pushing abortion restrictions, but a much larger group should take note and demand a change in direction come November.
– San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2018