Federal Funded Family Planning Centers Can Refer Women for Abortions for Two More Months

The Trump administration has hit the brakes on an announcement that it made last week that wanted to immediately start forcing federally funded family planning centers to stop referring women for abortions. But on Saturday, the administration gave the family planning centers two more months to comply with the new rules.

According to The Washington Post, on Saturday night a memo sent to Planned Parenthood affiliates, state governments and other organizations that receive federal family planning grants said that no organizations would be punished for not complying with the new rule – for now.

This comes after Monday night, a night of total confusion, after the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a memo telling 90 different federal grant recipients under Title X to comply with all of the changes immediately.

The grant recipients didn’t take it sitting down. Planned Parenthood, the largest recipient of federal family planning money, had said that it would leave the Title X program and stop accepting federal money. The organization is not the only one.

Related Article: Women in Alabama Could be Jailed Up to 99 Years for Abortions

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Thursday that the state would forfeit its estimated $2.4 million in family planning funds, shared by 28 organizations, The Post reported.

This is another small fight in the larger battle for women’s healthcare rights.

As the Trump administration and other conservative politicians push to restrict Title X, the government program that pays for reproductive health services for about 4 million low-income women and girls annually, progressives and the courts in certain states are pushing back.

The administration rewrote Title X’s rules and the changes were meant to have gone into effect in March, but lawsuits immediately cropped up, so federal judges issued temporary injunctions to stop the changes while the lawsuits moved through the courts.

However, those temporary injunctions were overturned by an appeals court in California that decided the administration’s rules could begin while the litigation goes on.