Illinois refuses $2.4 million in Title X funds under ‘gag rule’

Following Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ lead, the state will forgo federal family-planning program funds as a result of the Trump administration’s newly imposed restrictions.

By Stephanie Goldberg, Crains’ Chicago Business, July 18, 2019

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said today the state will forgo federal funds as a result of the Trump administration’s so-called abortion gag rule.

The new rule, which the administration said it would begin enforcing this week, bars clinics that refer patients for abortions from accepting federal family-planning program funds known as Title X.

Pritzker last month signed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining reproductive health care as a “fundamental right” in Illinois and eliminating virtually all state restrictions on contraception, sterilization and abortion.

If the rule remains in place through the end of this fiscal year, the Illinois Department of Public Health will provide an estimated $2.4 million in funding to the 28 grantees that previously received Title X, according to a statement from governor’s office.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois, which received funds directly from the federal government, is not included. The organization said earlier this week it would give up more than $3 million in federal funds due to the newly imposed restrictions.

Title X funding is often used for preventive health services, such as cancer screenings and HIV testing.

Pritzker last month signed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining reproductive health care as a “fundamental right” in Illinois and eliminating virtually all state restrictions on contraception, sterilization and abortion.

“Under my administration, Illinois will always stand with women and protect their fundamental right to choose,” Pritzker said in the statement. “While I’m committed to bringing as many federal dollars to the state as possible, I refuse to sacrifice our values and allow vital care to lapse. In this state, we trust women to make their own health care decisions and will guarantee access to reproductive health care for all of our residents.”

The state estimates that nearly 773,000 women of reproductive age in Illinois are in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies, the statement says.

Article first appeared at: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/health-care/illinois-refuses-24-million-title-x-funds-under-gag-rule