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Trump Just Made It Easier for States to Target Planned Parenthood

The president reversed an Obama-era rule that said states can't defund family planning clinics just because they also provide abortions.

by Drew Schwartz
14 April 2017, 12:52am

Photo via Flickr user Women's eNews

After dropping a massive bomb on Afghanistan, Donald Trump quietly mounted another attack on Thursday by rolling back an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting Planned Parenthood, the New York Times reports.

The bill the president signed reversed a rule that essentially prohibited state governments from cutting off federal funding to family planning clinics just because they also provide abortions. The bill narrowly passed the Senate last month, thanks in part to Vice President Mike Pence, who made the tie-breaking vote. As you might recall, Pence became the highest-ranking official to ever appear at an anti-abortion event after attending the March for Life rally in January.

"Despite repeated promises that he would protect and invest in women's health, President Trump has once again shown that his words carry little weight," Heidi Williamson, an analyst for the Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, said in a statement. "Not even 100 days into his administration, Trump has dealt blow after blow to women's reproductive health care."

Like he did with NATO, China, Russia, and Syria, Trump has flipped-flopped on his policy toward Planned Parenthood and abortion in general since announcing his candidacy. At one point he said the women's health organization has done "very good work for millions of women." Then again, he's also said women who get abortions should be "punished."

Trump's daughter Ivanka even had a private meeting with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards to learn more about what the organization does and how it's funded, but none of that seemed to change Trump's mind, seeing as he's just made it easier for right-leaning states to attack it.

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