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Trump’s Latest Attack On Planned Parenthood Could Be The Start To Our Sentence As Handmaids So Pay Attention

The Trump administration just got a step closer to winning the battle in policing women’s bodies and reproductive systems in the United States. On Wednesday, August 20, it was reported that Planned Parenthood announced it would withdraw from Title X, essentially losing out on about $60 million a year in federal funding. 

Planned Parenthood’s decision wasn’t an easy one to make, and the Trump administration played a role in essentially forcing their decision. 

Planned Parenthood’s decision to withdraw from Title X and its funding came in response to a new Trump administration rule that refuses to allow Title X clinics from referring their patients for abortions.

Earlier this year in July, a rule preventing taxpayer-funded clinics from referring patients for abortions went into effect immediately on the 15th of that month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services immediately began enforcing Trump administration’s “Protect Life Rule.” 

Now, the Trump administration’s latest attack on women’s reproductive rights will, according to CNN, likely increase abortion rates. It will lead to unwanted and unintended pregnancies due to a lack of accessible birth control, and it could even push women to seek unsafe methods and practices of abortion. 

On August 19, Planned Parenthood tweeted about the Trump administration forcing them out of the Title X program, “our nation’s program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40% of patients.” Planned Parenthood isn’t, however, throwing in the towel or backing down without a fight. 

Being forced out of Title X won’t stop us from referring for or performing abortions, prescribing birth control, or any of our other services,” Planned Parenthood shared in a tweet. 

“Our doors are open and we are fighting against the gag rule.”

Despite this, Planned Parenthood is still working on making sure that patients who benefit from their services can still maintain access to the healthcare benefits they need. But you can help, too, and continue to fight for women’s reproductive rights and for women to have full control of our bodies. 

Here’s what you should know about the Trump administration’s latest attack on our bodies and what it means for women. 

First things first: what is Title X? 

Title X is a federal family planning program that helps women, particularly those that are low-income, have access to birth control and a number of other reproductive health services since its inception nearly 50 years ago. According to USA Today, about 4 million patients nationwide benefit under Title X “which distributes $260 million a year in family planning grants to clinics.” The program is also responsible for filling the gaps in health care access including cancer screenings, STD testing, annual exams for low-income communities who can’t afford it or don’t have health insurance. Contrary to what the Trump administration might lead you to believe, though. Title X does not fund abortion care. 

Now, who will this new Title X rule really affect? 

For nearly a century, Planned Parenthood has been one of the nation’s leading providers of affordable health care for women, men, and young people. One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center and their health centers have helped an estimated 515,000 women prevent unintended pregnancies and 216,000 abortions every year. It’s no doubt that the resources Planned Parenthood is able to provide are imperative to a woman’s choice to her body and her wellbeing. 

But this latest rule will threaten that. However, Planned Parenthood’s latest decision to no longer receive Title X funding doesn’t mean that clinics are closing. This just means that Planned Parenthood means business and is not willing to comply with the Trump administration’s dangerous policing of women’s bodies. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson emphasized in a news conference that they hope their withdrawal will push Congress to block the gag rule. 

According to USA Today, the new Title X includes a ban on abortion referrals by clinics that are taxpayer-funded, financial separation from facilities that provide abortions, and designating abortion counseling as optional instead of the standard practice. 

Now, low-income women will be the ones to feel the effects of this latest rule.

 This community relies on Title X the most and according to Cosmopolitan’s breakdown of how it will affect low-income women, they’ll have to look for less accessible ways to undergo routine care like obtaining birth control, STI testing, and annual exams. Because even though Planned Parenthood is keeping its doors open and still operating, it might become even harder for them to provide these services for free anymore to patients who can’t afford them. For example, in states like Utah and Minnesota, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X provider so women in these states will have even fewer options. 

“It will simply be impossible for other health centers to fill the gap,” said Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson to Cosmopolitan magazine. “Wait times for appointments will skyrocket, and people will delay or go without care.” 

This isn’t the end of this fight. This is how other states and organizations are helping and how YOU can help, too. 

Planned Parenthood already sued the Trump administration in March in an effort to block this rule and the American Medical Association also was a plaintiff in the lawsuit. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals still allowed the rule to take effect and prohibit clinics from providing abortion referrals to Title X patients. 

Maine Family Planning and more than 20 other states have also joined Planned Parenthood in challenging this new rule. Further, governors in states including Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington have all said they will withdraw from Title X if this new gag rule is implemented. 

It’s important that we don’t let the Trump administration deter us from continuing the fight against our basic human rights, specifically the rights of women’s bodies. So while you brush up on your knowledge about Title X and what it means for women, you should also share that knowledge with others and motivate them to give back as well. 

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Justice Amy Coney Barrett Just Issued Her First Opinion In Abortion Case And Cast Doubt On Future Of Roe V. Wade

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Justice Amy Coney Barrett Just Issued Her First Opinion In Abortion Case And Cast Doubt On Future Of Roe V. Wade

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

It was no secret that if the Republican Party and Donald Trump got their way with the Supreme Court, that women’s health and reproductive rights would be under attack. Well, Trump installed his new justice, Amy Coney Barrett, to the court in November and she’s just issued her first opinion in a case related to access to abortion.

Amy Coney Barrett handed a victory to the White House and Conservatives regarding abortion.

Since taking her seat on the Supreme Court in November, Justice Coney Barretts’ opinions have escaped much scrutiny. However, her latest opinion in an abortion-related case is drawing scrutiny from both the left and the right for clues of how she might rule in the future.

The decision, issued despite objection from the court’s more liberal judges, reinstates a requirement for patients to pick up the drug, mifepristone, in person. Three lower courts had blocked the Food and Drug Administration’s in-person pick-up requirement for mifepristone during the coronavirus pandemic, citing the risks of contracting COVID-19 at a doctor’s office or a hospital.

Julia Kaye, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project, called the court’s decision “chilling” and one that “needlessly” endangers “even more people during this dark pandemic winter.”

In an interview with NPR, she added that people of color, like Black and Latinx patients, are at particular risk for health risks posed by COVID-19. Requiring them to go to a doctor’s office in person to pick up the drug threatens the health and lives of those patients, she said.

It’s the first abortion-related decision since last year’s swearing in of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose presence on the high court bench ensured a new conservative majority. Abortion-rights advocates have been fearful of what a conservative majority could do to chip away at legal protections for abortion.

On the surface, this week’s abortion ruling is fairly minor but it has many women worried.

Credit: Phil Walter / Getty Images

In its ruling, the Court didn’t release a majority opinion, which means that the case doesn’t explicitly change existing legal doctrine. And the case concerns a policy that the Biden administration could likely reverse after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

But, when you read between the lines, the case – FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – warns of a dark future for abortion rights and women’s health.

The premise of pro-abortion rights decisions like Roe v. Wade (1973) is that the Constitution provides special protection to the right to an abortion that it doesn’t provide to other elective medical procedures. Yet, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor explains in dissent, American College effectively rules that a commonly used abortion drug may be regulated more harshly than any other legal medication.

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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