Trump administration to reinstate domestic 'gag rule' on abortion

The Trump administration will announce a policy on abortion that threatens to cut off federal funding for family-planning clinics like Planned Parenthood.

The policy, based on the global “gag rule” introduced by former President Ronald Reagan, will bar family planning clinics that receive federal grants under Title X from performing or even discussing abortions with patients.

The Hyde amendment already bars federal funding from going towards abortions.

Planned Parenthood says abortions — which make up about 3 percent of its medical services — are privately funded, while federal grants are used to provide reproductive health services like cancer screenings and STD tests.

The new policy would require clinics that receive Title X money to maintain both a financial and physical separation between abortion and its other services. It would also prevent doctors at federally funded clinics from discussing abortion as an option in family planning.

“The notion that you would withhold information from a patient does not uphold or preserve their dignity,” said Jessica Marcella of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.

“I cannot imagine a scenario in which public health groups would allow this effort to go unchallenged,” she said.

The gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, was introduced by Reagan and extended through George H.W. Bush’s administration, until it was rescinded, reinstated and rescinded again under Bill Clinton.

George W. Bush brought the policy back into play until Obama entered office.

Just three days after his inauguration, Trump signed a presidential memorandum to reinstate the policy, which he renamed “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.”