Addressing an audience of pro-life advocates gathered for Tuesday night’s Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala, President Trump formally announced his intention to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions in the United States.
“My administration has proposed a new rule to prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions,” he told the jubilant crowd in Washington.
The federal Title X program funds basic, preventive, reproductive healthcare, such as birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment.
The administration’s proposed rule was announced last week, but Trump had not commented until Tuesday. During his keynote address to gala attendees, the president also offered his full support of a bill that seeks to bar abortions after 20 weeks.
The president’s anti-abortion stance targets Planned Parenthood, which accepts some federal money for non-abortion services.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who is a former Planned Parenthood board member, took aim at the president’s proposed new rule.
“This rule is an outright assault on the fundamental rights and freedoms of women across America,” Atkins said Friday following news of the new rule.
Crystal Strait, the CEO of California Planned Parenthood, released a statement Tuesday as Trump was getting set to deliver his gala address.
“The Trump administration’s decision is a dangerous departure from the successful Title X program that provides affordable birth control for more than one million Californians,” Strait said.
She went on to say, in part, “Women deserve the best medical information available, but under this rule they would be on their own when faced with an unintended pregnancy.
“Trump’s agenda is to stop medical providers from performing abortions, starting with Planned Parenthood,” Strait continued. We know that federal Title X dollars have never been used for abortions. “We know what happens when abortion isn’t legal. Abortions don’t end, but women die. We know what happens because that was America just 45 years ago, and is still true in other countries today.
“This is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood and the millions of patients we serve every year. Trump has carefully constructed this rule with one target: Planned Parenthood.
“We are going to fight this decision with every tool we have available,” Strait said.
Trump’s position on a woman’s right to choose has wavered. In past decades, he described himself as “pro-choice.” But during his presidential campaign he positioned himself as an abortion foe, which helped him gain traction with many conservative voters.
The Democratic National Committee released a statement Tuesday during Trump’s gala speech, calling the proposal “a brazen and shameful assault on women, their rights and their health.”
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