US President Donald Trump has signed a bill which will allow states to withhold money from organisations which provide abortion services, including family planning service, Planned Parenthood.
Most of the federal money Planned Parenthood receives goes towards birth control, pregnancy tests and women’s health-related services. Only around 3 per cent of the servicesit provides are abortions. This move reverses Obama’s legislation that had prohibited state governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services.
Trump has also proposed keeping Planned Parenthood’s funding if it stops providing abortions. The organisation has said that it will never accept such a deal.
He signed the legislation privately, without any media presence.
Planned Parenthood’s Executive Vice-President, Dawn Laguens, said that the new resolution could deny 4 million people access to family planning services.
“We should build on the tremendous progress made in this country with expanded access to birth control, instead of enacting policies that take us backward,” said Laguens.
Trump has set in motion other measures to deny women access to abortion. He has reinstated the global gag rule and slashed funding to the United Nations population fund.
Critics are calling the move yet another attack on women, and especially on low income women, while anti-abortion groups are lauding the move. Republican conservatives have wanted to defund the group because it provides abortion services.
Here are a few reactions from Twitter: