Reproductive-rights groups are fighting the new changes to the federal family planning program known as Title X. The new rule prohibits health providers under Title X funding to give information about abortions or refer patients to those who perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood, other medical groups and 21 Democratic state attorneys general, including Illinois', have filed suits to block the changes.
Jennifer Welch, with Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said the rule will limit how much a doctor can share with a patient, even if patients request information about abortion.
“Imagine a situation where a medical professional couldn’t give information about insulin to diabetes patients. It’s preventing doctors and any medical professional from giving proper medical advice.”
Welch said the rule would also put many at a disadvantage. “It’s going to put affordable health care out of reach for many in rural communities, or underserved communities."
In a statement, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the federal program gives funding to 28 agencies around the state, which provide health care services to those that can't afford it. “Those who will suffer the most under the administration’s proposed rule are those who can least afford it: women, children and men who are uninsured, underinsured or living at or below the federal poverty level," he said.
The rule will not take effect for another several weeks, but the various lawsuits could slow down the process.
Welch said Planned Parenthood will continue to offer the same services to patients and will opt out of federal funding if the rule successfully goes through.