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Trump Administration Abortion-Referral Restrictions Take Immediate Effect

(Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Family planning clinics that receive federal funding will no longer be permitted to provide abortion referrals, the Trump administration announced on Monday.

The Department of Health and Human Services informed clinics that it will immediately begin enforcing the administration’s prohibition on abortion referrals, along with a rule that family planning clinics must be financially separated from any provision of abortion procedures. Another rule requiring that family planning clinics do not share physical space with abortion providers will take effect next year.

The rule change will affect family planning clinics that receive Title X funding. The move will remove a significant portion of funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and the largest beneficiary of Title X funding. Planned Parenthood has joined other family planning providers in suing the Trump administration over the policy, but there is no judicial order currently barring its implementation, according to the Associated Press.

Under the new policy, clinics will still be able to discuss abortion with patients as one of a number of options available to them, but no longer will be required to do so. The Trump administration is currently engaged in a number of legal battles to allow health-care workers greater latitude to opt out of performing procedures that violate their conscience and to allow religious employers to refuse to provide contraception as part of their employees’ health-care coverage.

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