Trump’s HHS Worked with Conservative Group to Draft Letter Rescinding Planned Parenthood Funding

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According to documents obtained
by Politico
, the Department of Human and Health Services
(HHS) under Trump worked with a conservative group on a letter
announcing states no longer needed to comply with the Obama-era
policy that made it harder for them to end Medicaid funding for
Planned Parenthood.

The rollback was announced last month and targeted Planned
Parenthood as well as other health organizations that provide
abortions in a letter sent to states. Charmaine Yoest, Health
and Human Services secretary for Public Affairs told reporters

at the time
: “This is part of the Trump administration’s
effort to roll back regulations the Obama administration put
out to radically favor abortion.”

A week before the Trump administration announced that states
would not have to comply with Obama’s policy, the HHS
reportedly received a draft legal analysis from the
conservative Christian group
Alliance Defending Freedom
, according to House Oversight
Committee ranking Democrat Elijah E. Cummings. Matt Bowman, the
HHS deputy general counsel,
worked at
the Alliance Defending Freedom before joining the
administration.

A whistleblower had shared the documents with Cummings, who
said that the information raises “serious concerns about
whether the Trump administration is now taking orders from an
extreme right-wing interest group that is trying to deny
American citizens the ability to exercise their right to obtain
family planning services from the provider of their choice” in
a letter to the HHS. The HHS actually sped up the processing
and release of the letter so that it would coincide with
January’s March for Life rally.

As a result of the aggressive targeting of Planned Parenthood
by Republicans, the organization has already
closed down
centers across the country and Trump is still
trying
different ways
to legally allow states to rescind funding
from the organization.

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