Washington, D.C., USA : The Trump administration announced Friday it is rescinding guidance from the Obama administration, issued in 2016, which warned states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other health care providers that offer abortions could be against federal law. The Obama-era guidance made it harder for states to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Obama administration’s interpretation of Medicaid law was that states could only bar providers from Medicaid if those providers were unable to perform covered services or if they can’t bill for those services.
However, the Trump administration rescinded that guidance Friday in a letter to state Medicaid directors, arguing it was part of the Obama administration’s effort to favor abortion.
“Reinstating the pre-2016 standards frees up states to once again decide for themselves what reasonable standards they use to protect Medicaid programs and their beneficiaries,” Charmaine Yoest, assistant Health and Human Services secretary for public affairs said in a press call with reporters Friday morning.
“This is part of the Trump administration’s effort to roll back regulations the Obama administration put out to radically favor abortion.”
States including Texas have tried to ban Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid programs, but have been blocked by the executive branch.
In April, Trump signed legislation that nullified an Obama-era rule that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services to groups that provide abortions.
The announcement on Friday comes the same day as the March for Life, an annual march against abortion at the National Mall in Washington, D.C and a walk to the Supreme Court.
President Trump spoke at the march live via video, the first president to do so.
“We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society….We know that life is the greatest miracle of all” President Trump, @POTUS, speaking to March for Life crowd via satellite.
Also speaking at the event are House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and GOP Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) and Chris Smith (N.J.).
The House also just passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act as the March for Life kicked off.
The bill would provide protections for babies born after an unsuccessful abortion procedure, granting them the same medical attention as babies born in any other situation, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican-California
“This bill states simply that if a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way,” the No. 2 House Republican said.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act augments the 2002 law by providing for criminal consequences for health care providers who violate the law and requires that proper medical care be given by the health care practitioner present if an infant is born alive.