Under the Trump regime, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a so-called "gag rule" that would defund any organization that even refers patients to providers of abortion services even if they don't provide that service themselves.
If all goes according to plan, anyone defunded under the Trump-era rule will be eligible for federal funding later this year when it's formally repealed by the Biden administration.
The change would return the program to the way it ran from 2000 until the Trump administration policy change in 2019. If the agency makes good on its goal of finalizing the rules by fall, clinics pushed out of the program could reapply for funding by year's end.
The administration resisted appeals from progressive advocacy groups, lawmakers and medical providers to immediately rescind the Trump administration policy, stressing the need to do things by the book to make sure its policies can survive a court challenge.
I know we'd all like to see policies like this reversed overnight, but the White House is right to take time and complete the full rule-making progress.
You may recall that failing to follow the legal rule-making progress was the Trump regime's kryptonite in court. It was the most common reason that Trump's government lost cases; they failed to follow the process required by federal law. And now it's even more important for the Biden administration to do their due diligence because Trump stacked the federal judiciary with conservative judges who will look for anything they can find to rule against the administration.
Although the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics do not provide abortion services, they were the largest and most visible provider defunded under Trump's gag rule.
Most of the services that Planned Parenthood provides aren't even related to abortion. For example, when I first began looking for a provider for hormone replacement therapy, I called my local Planned Parenthood and they referred me to a local provider. Some Planned Parenthood clinics offer transgender health care on site. But Republicans hate that, too, of course.
The new rules will be published next month.