Donald Trump proposes cutting funding from women’s health organisations that offer abortions

Anti-abortion activists won a major victory on Friday when President Donald Trump’s administration announced plans to cut federal funding to hundreds of American clinics providing the service.

The move would effectively strip Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion providers in the US, of millions of dollars.

The organisation called the proposal "dangerous" and "outrageous", warning it would "have devastating consequences".

The proposed policy "would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions," a White House statement said.

Under the proposal, clinics that receive federal money from a family planning programme known as Title X will be banned from referring clients for abortion or sharing space with abortion providers.

The policy is expected to be filed shortly by the Department of Health and Human Services which delivers the $260 million programme.

White House sources said the motivation for the new policy was to reflect the view that taxpayer funds should not be used to fund abortions. 

Anti-abortion activists thanked Mr Trump for "delivering on a key promise" in anticipation of the official announcement.

The move is similar to the Mexico City Policy, one of the Trump administration’s first acts, which threatened organisations abroad with the withdrawal of US aid if they performed abortions, even with other funding.

It follows an increasing move towards restricting abortions across the US ahead of the midterm elections, and the divisive issue will likely form a key part of debates ahead of the vote in November.

US abortion clinics

Earlier this month Iowa voted to become the first US state to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, the most restrictive ban in the country. 

Conservatives are confident that the new rules will withstand any legal challenges, because a similar Reagan-era policy overcame a Supreme Court challenge.

Abortion laws around the world

Dana Singiser, from Planned Parenthood, said the policy would make it “impossible” for patients to get birth control or preventive care from its clinics, which receive around $50 million from Title X.

“No one should be worried that their doctor will be forced to lie to them. No one should be kept from the best medical information and care available. No one should be prevented from getting basic care like birth control,” she said in a statement.

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