WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday issued a proposal to restrict health clinics and programs that receive government funding from referring women to receive abortions.
The plan is aimed at fulfilling Trump’s campaign pledge to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions and other health services for women, and comes as Republicans push to energize Trump supporters ahead of November congressional elections.
Planned Parenthood’s health centers serve more than 40 percent of patients receiving birth control and other family planning health services subsidized by Title X funds.
The group said it would not back down from providing abortions and counseling, and would fight the rule in court if needed.
The organization called it a “gag rule” that would roll back a requirement that medical professionals provide information about abortions.
Groups that oppose abortion said the plan would not ban abortion counseling, but would ensure that taxpayer funding did not support clinics that also perform abortions.
The timelines and details of the proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services were not immediately available. The plan will go through a review process run by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
“The proposal would require a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning,” an administration official said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernadette Baum)