Pritzker: Illinois Stands With Planned Parenthood on New Abortion "Gag Rule"

Aug 19, 2019

Governor J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will join Planned Parenthood in turning down millions of dollars in federal Title X funding for reproductive health services as long as a new “gag rule” remains in effect. 

The new rule prevents healthcare providers receiving Title X funds from making abortion referrals except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency. The Trump administration is requiring compliance plans to be submitted by the end of Monday. 

Planned Parenthood opted to drop out of the program. The governor said Illinois will follow suit. 

“Since this gag rule has gone into effect, we have not drawn down on federal funds, and we will not draw down on federal funds while this regulation remains in place," said Pritzker. 

The Title X program already prohibits direct funding for abortions. 

Pritzker said the Illinois Department of Public Health received $4 million last year to distribute statewide to 28 agencies to provide family planning services for lower-income women.

The governor blasted the rule in a conference call on Monday.

“This policy has caused a mess of confusion and uncertainty destabilizing women’s healthcare nationwide, and doing extraordinary harm to the lives of low-income patients, and particularly women of color," he said. 

Planned Parenthood is the sole Title X provider in Peoria, Tazewell, Sangamon, LaSalle, Macon and McLean counties. Pritzker said the agency served 70,000 people in Illinois in the last fiscal year.

Planned Parenthood officials declined to put a number on the expected financial impact on their bottom line in the Monday conference call. 

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the rule’s implementation last week as a court battle moves forward.