Illinois lawmakers, Planned Parenthood fight to reverse Trump administration Title X gag rule

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lawmakers are joining Planned Parenthood of Illinois to reverse a recent Trump Administration rule to withdrawal federal funding for health care groups that provide abortion services and support.

She's never had an abortion or been on birth control, but Bridget Lattanzi has relied on Planned Parenthood's health care services since she was in college.

"I do go Planned Parenthood for some things because, Planned Parenthood has in expertise in women's health Care," said Lattanzi.

Besides abortion services, Planned Parenthood primarily provides birth control, cancer screenings, STD and HIV testing and primary care to thousands of Illinois women, especially low income women of color.

"A lot of women who come to us don't have primary care we are the only health care providers that they are seeing, sometimes we are identifying health issues as hypertension or diabetes," said Yvonne Oldaker, a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

For thousands of patients, their services are paid for by a federal family planning grant known as Title X. While it is illegal for the grant to pay for abortions, the Trump administration has issued a ruling barring any health organization that provides abortions or referrals to abortions from receiving Title X Funds.

"The administration is trying to say we can't discuss medical procedures with our patients; that is a withholding of information that we see as unethical," said Oldaker.

Planned Parenthood has decided to no longer accept the funds and fill the financial gap in other ways. It is being dubbed as the "Title X gag rule," and Illinois Congressional Democrats said they will fight to reverse the ban. Supporters of Trump's ruling said there are plenty of other health care options for women in Illinois.

"Actually there are 450 federally qualified health centers in Illinois alone, that is 25 times Planned Parenthood clinics, so you're redirecting funds to a great place that helps women and children," said Kevin Grillot, March for Life Chicago

The rule is expected to redirect millions of dollars to faith-based groups. Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, are against the Trump plan saying it interferes with and imposes restrictions on the patient-physician relationship.
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