The inauguration is almost upon us, but Barack Obama isn’t quite finished with his Presidency, yet. Through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Obama has issued a law that will be passed on January 18th (just 2 days before the inauguration) to protect funding for Planned Parenthood. This ruling prevents states from defunding the organization, in addition to other community health clinics, solely based on the fact that they perform abortions. It’s safe to say that Republicans are in an uproar about this, but Obama has made a good argument in defense of this ruling.
The Finalized Rule
One could argue that Donald Trump’s plans to abolish Planned Parenthood and abortion will cause laws that were passed in the 1950’s (Roe vs Wade) to unravel. However, in this case, it goes back to 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed off on Title X. Under this federal program, the states distribute money to clinics and health organizations that offer medical services to low-income families. These services include things like screening for STD’s, HIV testing, cervical and breast cancer screening, birth control, and pregnancy testing.
President Barrack Obama used this law as a defense against state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that offers services other than abortions (breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy testing, counseling, STD testing and treatment, sex education, etc.) to patients, and therefore, falls under the ruling of Title X.
This new law, issued on Wednesday, relates to Title X and has been in the works since September. In that time, it’s gained serious popularity throughout the country, as over 4,000 of these clinics (including Planned Parenthood) provided care to over 4 million patients in 2015 alone. This ruling prevents states from defunding these organizations just because they perform abortions.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, has said, “…it’s not about the funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s about the ability of women in this country to access health care and that’s what’s at stake…” Richards has expressed gratitude to Barack Obama for this ruling stating that he’s proven himself as an advocate for women’s rights.
It’s safe to say that Republicans aren’t happy about this. In response to this rule, pro-life advocate, and Republican politician, Diane Black said, “President Obama knows that hope is rising for the innocent victims of Planned Parenthood’s brutality and the big abortion industry’s days of taxpayer-funded windfalls are numbered. We should not be surprised that his administration would lash out with this eleventh-hour power grab on the way out the door, but I am certain this rule will not stand for long.” She also stated that the Trump administration will do everything in their power to defund organizations that perform abortions. Additionally, political extremists like Mike Pence and Tom Price are becoming appointed officials. So, while the ruling for this new law is secure for now, the war over abortion is far from over.