American Medical Association Joins Planned Parenthood in Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Protect Life Rule

Argentine 11-year-old's C-section sparks new abortion debate
AFP/Raul ARBOLEDA

The American Medical Association (AMA) forged its alliance further with the abortion industry Tuesday when it joined Planned Parenthood in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s new rule that draws a clear line between abortion and family planning.

“Because of the administration’s overreach and interference in health care decision making, physicians will be prohibited from having open, frank conversations with their patients about all their healthcare options,” said AMA president Barbara L. McAneny, M.D., using the language of the abortion industry in equating abortion with “health care.”

McAneny called the Protect Life Rule a “blatant violation of patients’ rights under the Code of Medical Ethics” that is “untenable.”

“The new rule imposes a government gag rule on what information physicians can provide to their patients,” she continued. “The administration wants to allow Title X clinics not to provide full information to patients about all of their health care options and block physicians from providing appropriate referrals for care.”

However, Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), said she found it “curious that the AMA seems to be concerned about the patient-physician relationship and ‘unbiased’ advice only with regard to recommending abortion.”

“What about Medicare and Medicaid, which punish physicians for prescribing allegedly ‘unnecessary’ or ‘inappropriate’ services, and constrain their work with impenetrable, ever-changing rules?” Orient reacted to Breitbart News.

Louisiana Republican Rep. Dr. Ralph Abraham also vehemently disagreed with McAneny.

“When I became a doctor, I vowed to do no harm,” Abraham, a practicing physician for more than 20 years, said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “The American Medical Association is failing to live up to that standard by joining Planned Parenthood to fight for taxpayer funded abortion. The AMA does not speak for all doctors – and certainly not me – because we value saving lives, not killing babies.”

In February, the Trump administration finalized the Protect Life Rule that could block about $60 million in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood unless the nation’s largest abortion business ends abortion services at its family planning clinics or relocates abortion services to separate facilities.

The new regulation, scheduled to go into effect in April, governs Title X, the federal grant program that provides funding for family planning services. The final rule prohibits the use of funds to “perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”

Planned Parenthood’s primary source of profit is abortion, and obtains upwards of 35 percent of the U.S. abortion market, a figure that well overtakes the market shares of leaders in other industries.

Orient said the AMA is “siding with the nation’s largest purveyor of abortions, Planned Parenthood, to prevent President Trump from enforcing long-standing policy against the use of taxpayer money to fund abortions.”

Reacting to McAneny’s statement that the Protect Life Rule is a “blatant violation of patients’ rights under the Code of Medical Ethics,” Orient said, “Dr. McAneny has apparently forgotten that the Oath of Hippocrates specifically forbids supplying a means to cause an abortion.”

McAneny continued the narrative of the abortion industry and its allies that the new rule “would eliminate current requirements that Title X sites offer a broad range of medically approved family planning options.”

What the rule does, however, is clearly state that abortion is not family planning and obliterates the claim that abortion is “care.”

The AMA’s press release regarding the lawsuit featured a statement by Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen as well. Recently, Wen confirmed that abortion is her organization’s “core mission.”

“The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is unethical, illegal, and dangerous, which is why Planned Parenthood is suing to protect patients’ rights and access to health care,” said Wen. “Four million people receive care through Title X, our nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and for many of our patients, we are their only source of care for cancer screenings, birth control, and crucial preventive care.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood “have treated the Title X program like their own multimillion-dollar slush fund.”

She added that Wen and her allies are spreading “misinformation” about the new rule.

“[T]he Protect Life Rule does not cut Title X funding by a single dime – it simply enforces the existing statute that draws a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning,” she said. “President Trump and Secretary Azar acted on the will of the American people by disentangling taxpayers from the big abortion industry. Similar regulations have already been upheld by the Supreme Court and we are confident the Trump administration will prevail.”

Wen said that “Title X serves women and families with low-incomes, the majority of whom are people of color, Hispanic, or Latino, and the gag rule will worsen existing racial, socioeconomic, and geographical health disparities.”

Orient, however, pointed to the “huge disparity” present in the number of black abortions.

“A huge disparity that Wen does not mention is that black babies are much more likely to lose their lives through abortion,” she asserted. “While black women account for only six percent of the population, they have 35 percent of the abortions.”

Orient added the claim that low-income individuals will be denied family planning services if Planned Parenthood is blocked from Title X funding is also a false narrative.

“Title X funds will remain available for all health-related services that clinics offer, as long as they do not refer patients for abortion,” she said. “It’s not as though women cannot easily find abortion purveyors without the help of taxpayers’ money.”

“Abortion is not family planning or ‘reproductive health care,’” Orient continued. “It is a means to end the life of an already growing and developing human being.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini also pointed out the new rule protects individuals at or near the poverty level. Individuals in need of family planning services can receive them at federally qualified health centers (FQHC), which outnumber abortion centers 20 to one.

“At FQHCs women benefit from better regulatory oversight, a wider range of services, and more life-affirming options,” Mancini said. “The new Title X regulations are a win-win for all Americans.”

Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report revealed the organization took in an unprecedented $1.67 billion in 2017-2018, breaking its record from the previous year of $1.46 billion.

The abortion vendor collected $563.8 million from taxpayers through Medicaid reimbursements and Title X family planning grants. This amount is $20 million more than the $543.7 million the organization raked in from taxpayers in 2016-2017.

Planned Parenthood also experienced a banner year in its private donations. Its annual report noted the group received $630.8 million from “private contributions and bequests,” a figure that is $98 million more than the $532.7 million it received from private sources in the previous year.

Abraham criticized the narrative of the AMA and Planned Parenthood regarding the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule.

“The AMA and Planned Parenthood say this rule change threatens health care access, but that is a lie,” the congressman asserted. “It continues to fund community health centers and other medical providers that don’t perform abortions. The rule change doesn’t threaten anything but Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.”

The case is American Medical Association v. Alex M. Azar II, No. 6:19-cv-318, in United States District Court, District of Oregon, Eugene Division.

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