Sen. Tina Smith called the Trump administration’s new Title X abortion rules “creepy” and “flat-out wrong” in a new column for Duluth News Tribune.
“Think about this: A woman goes in to talk with her health care provider about what her options are, and it is as if President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are hovering over the doctor’s shoulder, telling them what they can and can’t tell their patient about her health care options. That’s not just creepy, it’s flat-out wrong,” Smith writes.
The Trump administration announced new Title X rules in July that prohibit taxpayer-funded clinics from referring women for abortions. After an appeals court upheld the rules change, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America withdrew from the Title X family planning program.
“For decades, thousands of Minnesotans have depended on Planned Parenthood clinics for affordable and high-quality health care services. So what changed that put those benefits out of reach for Kaitlyn’s patients?” Smith begins her column, referring to a constituent who works at Planned Parenthood.
“The Trump-Pence administration issued a rule meant to dismantle the only federally funded family-planning program in the country, Title X,” Smith suggests.
Smith goes on to write that President Donald Trump has “fixated on destroying Americans’ access to the primary and reproductive health care afforded by Title X.”
“The administration’s new rule makes it illegal for health care providers to discuss abortion referrals with their patients and creates new program requirements that would inhibit access to affordable birth control, STI testing, and cancer screening,” Smith claims. “Rather than provide compromised care, Planned Parenthood and other clinics have decided to withdraw from the Title X program and are doing their best to stay afloat. The rule is an affront to the 56,000 Minnesotans who depend on Title X for essential health services.”
Smith concludes her column by accusing the Republican Party of using “all the tools at its disposal to limit our freedom, options, and access to health care.”
The Minnesota senator, who’s up for reelection in 2020, served as an executive for Planned Parenthood before running for public office. She voted in February against a bill that would protect babies who survive botched abortions, calling it “inappropriate medical treatment.”
Planned Parenthood Action recently endorsed Smith in her reelection campaign.
“Tina Smith has always stood with Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood Action stands with her,” Acting Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson wrote on Twitter. “We’re proud to endorse Tina Smith so she can keep protecting health care for Minnesotans.”
Tina Smith has always stood with Planned Parenthood, and @PPact stands with her. We’re proud to endorse @TinaSmithMN so she can keep protecting health care for all Minnesotans 💕 pic.twitter.com/iJeMTnw16T
— Alexis McGill Johnson (@alexismcgill) October 10, 2019
– – –