Credit: The Wall Street Journal

New rules regarding abortion have forced Planned Parenthood’s withdrawal from Title X.

Planned Parenthood says it has been forced to withdraw from the federal funding program, which was supposedly created to provide affordable care to low-income women, after the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules regarding abortion.

Planned Parenthood decided to pull out from the federal Title X funding program, saying it will not comply with new rules from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Guidelines now prohibit healthcare providers receiving Title X funding receiving abortion referrals to patients as part of family planning services. The rule also mandates clinics physically and financially separate facilities providing healthcare services from facilities providing abortions.

“I have no doubts that there will be many other clinics making the same decision,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy professor at The George Washington University. Rosenbaum has been studying the impacts and talking to community clinics. She says the changes could hurt them and the nearly four million patients who receive wellness exams, birth control, STD screenings and other care under Title X.

“It’s everything from cutting back hours, cutting back sites, laying off staff,” said Rosenbaum. “Women will not only have to pay for the visit; the discounts they’ve gotten for the prescribed drugs could disappear.”

The August 19 deadline was for providers to submit compliance plans to HHS. They’ll have about one month to enact those plans. Opponents are calling this the administration’s gag rule.

The Department of Health and Human Services pushed back on its website, saying the new rule is not interfering with the ability of doctors and advanced practice providers to provide non-directive abortion counseling. HHS also says abortion referrals in emergency medical situations are not prohibited. Health providers are already barred from using Title X funding to preform abortion services. There are several legal challenges pending in federal court against the rule from healthcare providers and from states.