Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is calling on Congress to take action to reverse a new federal rule that restricts access to abortions.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would start enforcing new rules for health providers that receive federal Title X funds, which help low-income patients access reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England spokeswoman Nicole Clegg says the rules block providers from making referrals for abortion services, even if a patient specifically asks.
“This doesn’t have to be the new normal in terms of how reproductive and sexual health care is treated by our government,” she says.
The rule is being fought in several lawsuits, but Clegg says lawmakers should intervene.
“There are options, and we encourage our congressional delegation to pursue them,” she says.
All of Maine’s congressional delegation have expressed support for the Title X program. Most recently, independent U.S. Sen. Angus King joined 41 Democratic colleagues to send a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, urging him to reverse the new rule.
Maine grantees of Title X recently withdrew from the program rather than comply, foregoing nearly 2 million dollars in annual funds.
Originally published July 30. 2019 at 2:37 p.m. ET.