President Barack Obama is the antithesis of a lame duck!
On Wednesday, the outgoing POTUS finalized a regulation which would protect federal funding for women’s health care and organizations like Planned Parenthood. The big move comes about a month before Donald Trump and his anti-Planned Parenthood administration will take office.
Several states have been trying to remove Title X federal funding from Planned Parenthood because they perform abortions — this new rule says funding CANNOT be removed unless an organization fails to provide the required Title X services, regardless of whether they offer additional family planning options.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released a statement highlighting how strengthening 1970’s Title X Family Planning Program will help keep “essential services” for the “most vulnerable patients in the country”.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Chief Medical Officer Karen A. Scott explained:
“This rule will strengthen access to essential services like cancer screenings and contraception for some of the most vulnerable patients in this country. Public comments showed overwhelming support for finalizing the rule, which clarifies that all organizations able to provide these services should be eligible to compete for funds.”
Obviously, the development couldn’t come at a better time considering women’s reproductive rights have been under siege after Republicans gained total control of Congress and the Senate. The shift in power has caused many states to lose funding to convoluted rules passed under the guise of religious freedom.
Following Obama’s last bid attempt to protect women’s health rights, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards released the following statement:
“President Obama has cemented his legacy as a champion for women’s health. This rule protects birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and other health care for millions of people. Yet this fight is not over. We are deeply concerned about the future of health care access in this country with extremists like Mike Pence and and Tom Price at the helm. We will not back down, and we will continue to fight for our patients’ access to care. Every person deserves the right to control their own bodies, their own health, and their own well-being without politicians getting in the way.”
Unfortunately, this does not mean the rule can’t be reversed by Drumpf and his cronies. Federal lawmakers have the right to undo regulations under the Congressional Review Act.
So, what do YOU think of Barack’s pro-Planned Parenthood move?
[Image via WENN/Ben Kriemann/Future Image]