On Friday, President Trump is scheduled to announce a new policy that will take government funding away from women’s health clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to clinics that do. This new rule is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood, which has been in a constant battle with the Trump administration since the 2016 election.
According to the New York Times, this rule is reminiscent of one set in place in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. The Times notes that the Reagan “policy is often described as a domestic gag rule because it barred caregivers at facilities that received family planning funds from providing any information to patients about an abortion or where to receive one.” Family planning clinics and their ties to abortion have already been restricted at the state level, but this new policy would take one step further in an attempt to completely eliminate abortions.
According to Politico, following Trump’s election, Ivanka Trump had a secret meeting with Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, of which Dawn Laguens, the Executive President of Planned Parenthood, explained:
The purpose of the meeting, from Cecile’s point of view, was to make sure that Ivanka fully understood what Planned Parenthood does, how it is funded, and why it would be a terrible idea for Planned Parenthood to be removed from being able to see Medicaid patients. The main thing that Cecile Richards was doing was explaining that the money doesn’t actually go to abortions—we get reimbursed the same way a hospital does. We were clearing up misinformation about how this works.
This act may have been the first and only time Ivanka tried to fight for women’s rights, as she promised the nation, under her father’s administration. She did it secretly and obviously didn’t tell her father what she learned about about Planned Parenthood or that he shouldn’t defund it. Planned Parenthood has put up a fight against the current pro-life Republican administration, beginning the moment the campaign started, because taking away a woman’s right to an abortion is taking away basic healthcare. Per the Times, Laguens called the new policy “outrageous” and “dangerous.” Her statement released on Thursday about the policy said it is:
... designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood. This is designed to force doctors and nurses to lie to their patients. It would have devastating consequences across this country.
During the campaign, Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton argued that following the ruling of Roe v. Wade, pregnancy-related deaths dropped drastically. According to Politifact, Clinton stated, “So young women were no longer dying in emergency rooms and back alleys from botched, illegal abortions. And this is a fact that is not often heard, but I hope you will repeat it: America’s maternal mortality rate dropped dramatically.” Politifact researched that statement and found that pregnancy-related deaths did in fact drop after the passing of Roe v. Wade. Yet, Trump wants us to return to a time of “botched illegal abortions” and young women “dying in emergency rooms.” Trump wants to defund women’s health care clinics that save lives, stripping women of their constitutional rights.