Planned Parenthood SVP discusses clinic's refusal to accept Title X federal funding

Melanie Roussell Newman explains how poor women and women of color suffer the most under the Title X rule saying the government should not get in between patients and their care providers.
8:20 | 08/20/19

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Transcript for Planned Parenthood SVP discusses clinic's refusal to accept Title X federal funding
Turning out to a major decision by Planned Parenthood coming don't late yesterday. With potential impact on health care of tens of thousands of women in this country that. A network of clinics announce that there was gonna withdraw from a federal program that's been in existence in this country for fifty years known as title ten. Which provides federal funding for family prior planning services the organization. I said that a new rule imposed for the trump administration. I basically means they cannot participate any more and more forgo that funding and organization says it has potential. Impact on net millions of women are in clarity is here she covers these issues and has been tracking this story. Tells the new rule says and in in why people should care about title ten. Right well this is not exactly simple but this is a program that has been around since 1970 that's almost didn't years. And what it is that's about a turner an 86 million dollar your program. I that the federal government uses taxpayer dollars to fund. Birth control and other family planning services it's also cancer screenings and STD screenings and as is really important in parts of the country where women don't have a doctor. And might need to rely on lowing fit facilities that cater to low income women like Planned Parenthood. So the government provides these grants to. And many of them are Planned Parenthood clinics but there are other clinics are involved as well. And the rules now have changed the trump administration says if you're gonna receive these funds. You can't prefer people to get a divorce. Earn abortion exactly what you can't that you can answer their questions as long as it's considered what they called non directive so you're not encouraging a moment to make a choice either way. But if she asked where where to wake up next you can't actually answer that that's why critics are calling us and agro. The other thing they say you have to have a a clear physical separation between those that part of your clinic that provides family planning and the part that provides abortion. Planned Parenthood has told me they're not sure exactly what that means commissioner's staff can they share ad men the support things like that. They weren't sure how to comply with the slot and they felt that it was. Impeding on their ability to provide these services to low income women so Monday they were supposed to submit a compliance plan and they said no we're out we're done we're dropping the program. So Planned Parenthood to making the decision of its own record that they are not going to change their practices in their policies to be in compliance with this rule are gonna forgo. That funny to what's the impact on Planned Parenthood and on millions of women at reliant Planned Parenthood for more. A let's bring in our guest Melanie Roussel Newman she's a senior vice president of communications at Planned Parenthood here in Washington Melanie it's great to see you think so much for coming in so. Oh why why make this decision and what impact is it going to happen. Thank you so much for having me. The the truth is that we were forced out Planned Parenthood was forced out of the title ten program because there's no way to comply without putting our. Public are our health providers. In situation where they are violating their medicine medical ethics we believe this gag rule. Is unethical we believe this gag rule is illegal. And we were forced out of the program because we're not gonna put our providers in a position where they're gonna violate their ethics. And not provide the best possible care to our patients. So what's on the line for planned parent parenthood is no lock talk about it is viewed the amount of money here what. Give us a sense of the the actual impact we have to close clinics will clinics. Not be able to it to hire certain number number of staff what's that gram of one packed. Well the actual impact is on Planned Parenthood patients and we don't we we honestly don't have a good sense of how this is going to play out nationally. It the impact will vary state to state and some states. Like you top Planned Parenthood is the only title ten provider or Minnesota. We're title ten where Planned Parenthood is the only provides 90% of the title ten care. In the state. We expect there will be longer wait times for appointments and we expect our patients' in many cases where it will simply delay care. Title ten as a primary provider for rural areas for low income. Patience and for patients of color. This is really gonna have the most dramatic impact. For those patients who need the care the most. And it's not you know this is a program that provides birth control coverage. STI screening breast cancer screenings this is primary. Reproductive health care and the biggest impact is going to be on most patients who really need it the most. Yet of course federal law has prohibited for some time federal funding of abortions directly this money was wasn't going to that. By any stretch and end you know the flip side of this corn in thirty is that it did trump administration says that by may change in this rule their opening up. This program this pot of federal funds to a number of health centers that have for years been denied a slice of the pie faith based right. That's right so there are church run pregnancy crisis honors that under the Obama rolls felt that they they would be violating their conscience by being forced against a woman it referral for an abortion. So I think what this is going to do is probably open up funding opportunities federal taxpayer dollars to be going to these organizations. That will not necessarily be talking about birth control they will be talking about natural family planning and urging women away from. And the more traditional services that Planned Parenthood has offered. So a lot of this could create confusion among consumers but ultimately the trump administration says that this is headed and that correct that direction. And Melanie plan turned her organization is is suing in federal court we should say over this rule change in you do. Hope that'll get reversed that you give us a sense of the crux of your legal argument if you can. On how what what will you tell federal court as to why this should be rolled. Well if I can also speak to your to your last point about who is getting that title ten funding. The titles and programs still requires that health centers provide contraceptive care and centers like the old Brea company don't provide contraceptive care and are in violation of the title ten program and HHS has said that's okay. So I just want to point out that they're they're they've made this exception for these centers who are providing. Confusing information misleading information to patients. And not providing the full spectrum of reproductive health care that Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers can provide. An argument in court is simple we believe this rule is unethical and illegal. Medical providers should be able to provide purple spent spectrum of health care to their patients we don't want to have. President trump or Mike Pence standing in between a patient and her doctor. No one wants Mike Pence and president trop. In the exam room with them and that's what this world does ultimately it puts government right smack in the middle of the patient. Provide a relationship and so that's why we're suing and we are also encouraging congress to act it's really important that congress. Recent restore the title ten program to what it was so that it can serve the four million patients across this country who have come to depend on. They certainly could legislate. Did the original rule until it was reversed that's for sure and something that house Democrats have talked about doing. I'm before let you go Melanie just want to help you break it down for for women out there who. Want to know how this change at least two days you might impact their ability to access an abortion. Award doesn't have an immediate impact right now are there is there anything you want to tell women who may be looking to seek services are Planned Parenthood. What what do they need to know. Alex how women who are looking to seek services that Planned Parenthood stores are open. We will continue to provide the best access to health care that we always provided. In some places that that care may be impacted by the title to normal but our doors are open and we're gonna continue to provide care. Refer for care where needed and we are here Tuesday. All right Melanie Roussel Newman with that plan pair heard here Washington thanks so much going rate this year thanks for cumin and. And it takes you in thirty much more on this story and abcnews.com. As we continue to. To follow the abortion ban on this country and the fight over Planned Parenthood.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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