The Associated Press (AP) is reporting the Trump administration is delaying its enforcement of the Protect Life Rule that bars facilities that receive federal family planning funds from referring women for abortions.
“The Trump administration is giving taxpayer-funded family planning clinics more time to comply with its new rule that says they no longer can refer women for abortions,” AP reported Sunday, adding:
A notice sent Saturday night to representatives of the clinics by the Department of Health and Human Services said the government “does not intend to bring enforcement actions” against clinics that are making “good-faith efforts to comply.” A copy of the notice, which includes a new timetable for the clinics, was provided to The Associated Press.
Breitbart News reached out to HHS to confirm the AP report of the delay in enforcement of the rule, but received no response.
Planned Parenthood said Tuesday – the same day it fired its former president, Dr. Leana Wen – that it would defy the HHS order to end abortion referrals and, instead, rely on other funds available to the organization in order to continue referring girls and women for abortions.
The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association – which filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the rule – called the administration’s action to delay enforcement of the Protect Life Rule “wholly insufficient,” reported AP.
“Failure (by HHS) to provide detailed implementation guidance may be the start of a game of ‘gotcha’ as it assesses compliance with the rule,” Clare Coleman, president of the group, said in a statement.
According to AP, the Trump administration says, in order to receive the Title X federal family planning dollars, clinics must show by mid-September they are carrying out most of the new requirements.
A report at pro-life media Live Action says HHS delivered “surprise guidance” Saturday night that “requires state governments and organizations like Planned Parenthood affiliates that currently receive the grants to submit written assurance to comply with the new rule by August 19th.”
Clinics reportedly still have until next March to physically separate their abortion facilities from those that provide family planning and other health services.
Last week, the Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would begin immediately enacting the ban on abortion referrals and, in March, would begin requiring the physical separation of facilities that perform abortions from family planning clinics.
“For too long that money has been used to subsidize the provision of abortion contrary to statute,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News @ Night. “Congress has said that you cannot support abortion as a method of family planning. We’re just finally enforcing it.”