Trump Signs Law to Let States Defund Planned Parenthood

He rolls back Obama's funding protection
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2017 1:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2017 1:57 AM CDT
Trump Rolls Back Obama's Planned Parenthood Protection
President Trump in the Roosevelt Room in the White House on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump has signed into law a bill so controversial that Mike Pence had to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate when two Republicans refused to support it: the rollback of President Obama's protection for Planned Parenthood funding. The bill allows states to withhold Title X federal family-planning grants from Planned Parenthoods and other organizations that perform legal abortions, NPR reports. Federal law already bans the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion, and the repeal of Obama's rule is a victory for conservatives who don't want any federal funding to go to centers that provide abortions along with other services, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The bill was signed behind closed doors and Trump didn't comment on it publicly, though Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List nonprofit, issued a statement saying Trump is moving toward his goal of stopping abortions from being performed in the US, the Washington Post reports. "This week the pro-life movement had two huge victories: first, the swearing-in of Justice Gorsuch, and now, President Trump will undo former President Obama's parting gift to the abortion industry," she said. Opponents said the new law could deprive millions of people of family planning services. "People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care," said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Dawn Laguens. (More Planned Parenthood stories.)

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