Georgia anti-abortion activists said they were encouraged by new rules from the Trump administration that creates more obstacles for women seeking abortions.
A rule released Friday by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department bars taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring women to abortion providers.
Joshua Edmonds, executive director of anti-abortion group Georgia Life Alliance, said denying the federal funds to abortion providers will help shift more money to clinics that don’t provide the medical procedure.
“This means that more underserved women, especially those navigating our rural healthcare crisis, will have access to life-saving services because abortion providers will no longer have a market share of this critical funding,” Edmonds said.
Title X is a federally funded family-planning program that provides services to those who are low-income or uninsured Abortion rights activists have vowed to fight the rule change in court.
Planned Parenthood Southeast CEO Staci Fox said while the clinics may perform or make referrals for abortions, the facilities offer a wider range of health services.
“This is a move by the Trump administration to create a barrier to access for services like birth control and cancer screenings and STD screenings and even general health exams,” she said. “This is an attack on people without resources, so that means poor people and poor people of color.”
The new rule from the Trump administration also would ban the clinics from being housed in the same building as an abortion provider.
The federal government provided about $8 million in grants to provide about 143,000 Georgians with medical treatment through the Title X program in 2017, according to HHS.
Federal laws prohibit taxpayer money to be used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.