House Democrats seek to protect Planned Parenthood from Trump's funding cuts

House Democrats seek to protect Planned Parenthood from Trump's funding cuts
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House Democrats are seeking to block the Trump administration from defunding Planned Parenthood and banning abortion referrals at family planning clinics.

In a draft spending bill released Monday, Democrats outlined a plan to “protect” the Title X Family Planning Program from changes sought by the administration.

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The proposal could tee up a brutal battle between the Republican-controlled Senate and House Democrats over one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's main policy priorities. 

“We’re going to keep the administration from trying to shut the doors of Planned Parenthood, which they’ve been trying to do since day one,” said Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelLawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' Hillicon Valley: Trump officials to investigate French tax on tech giants | Fed chair raises concerns about Facebook's crypto project | FCC blocks part of San Francisco law on broadband competition | House members warn of disinformation 'battle' Lawmakers, experts see combating Russian disinformation as a 'battle' MORE (D-Fla.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Title X grants are awarded to clinics across the nation to provide contraception and other reproductive health services to low-income women. Under the Democrats’ draft spending bill, the program would receive $400 million, an increase of $114 million.

But the Trump administration is pursuing several changes to the program, including banning abortion providers from receiving the funds, although federal funds have long been banned from covering the procedure.

Clinics would also have to be “financially” separate from abortion providers to receive the grants. 

Conservatives have long pushed for these changes as a way to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which serves about 40 percent of Title X patients.

The changes would also block clinics receiving these grants from referring women for abortions and would lift a requirement for providers to tell women that abortion is an option to terminate pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood has said it will not participate in the Title X program if the changes are allowed to go in effect. 

The changes were slated to go in effect May 3, but have since been blocked by two federal judges while litigation is ongoing.