While Everyone Was Staring At MOAB, Trump Quietly Gave States The Green Light To Defund Planned Parenthood

Getty Image

For a few moments on Thursday, everyone forgot about United Airlines, Sean Spicer, Russia, and Steven Bannon when the U.S. dropped the “Mother Of All Bombs” right on top of an ISIS target in Afghanistan. This is only the latest (and as Donald Trump would say, the “greatest”) example of increased military prowess under the new administration. And conveniently, Trump was able to duck away for a few moments and scribble his name on legislation that green lights states’ abilities to defund Planned Parenthood.

This would be the same bill that gave Mike Pence the opportunity to cast a tie-breaking Senate vote and dismantle an Obama-era rule (which only took effect a few days ago). The rule prohibited states from stripping federal funds from family planning clinics that also provide abortions. Planned Parenthood was main the target of the bill, even though — as CEO Cecile Richards tried to explain to Ivanka Trump in January — the organization doesn’t use federal funds for abortions. However, the GOP is all about guilt-by-association where abortion is concerned, and Trump pulled that trigger:

President Trump signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions, a move cheered by conservatives who have clamored to impose curbs on reproductive rights.

The previous Department of Health and Human Services regulation, which took effect two days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, said that states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services.

About a month ago tried to make a deal threatened Planned Parenthood with the removal of said funds if they didn’t stop providing abortions, and now he’s following through on their refusal to do so. No doubt, some states will soon put their wheels in motion to defund as allowed, and the women’s health organization — which provides vital services like HIV testing, STD and cancer screenings/treatment, and family planning — will have to increasingly rely on private donations.

Some states like Maryland previously vowed to pay for Planned Parenthood’s operation in the event that this potentially catastrophic bill became law. And even though the GOP is using this bill to take healthcare away from many low-income Americans after the Trumpcare bill failure, perhaps more states will come through and refuse to do the GOP’s bidding.

(Via New York Times)