President-elect Joe Biden plans to reverse the Trump administration’s limits on abortion and other reproductive health services and expand protections for abortion access.
Trump’s policies are a top target for abortion rights supporters who say much harm has been done to low-income and rural communities that need access to basic family planning services.
"We have a ton of work to do to undo the harm over the last four years, but knowing we have champions there who understand what needs to happen in the first 100 days is tremendously exciting," Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, told NBC News.
Many providers have left the federal Title X program because of Trump’s policies, reducing the availability of services provided by almost half, according to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.
Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed hundreds of laws restricting abortion and at least 11 states have temporarily suspended abortion services amid the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, 41 independent abortion clinics have been forced to close their doors in the last two years.
Trump, who worked to ban abortion overall, last year barred federal family planning dollars from going to organizations that provide abortions or refer patients to abortion clinics – Planned Parenthood, as a result, lost millions in federal funds.
The president also reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prevents any U.S. government global health funds from going to foreign groups that also provide or inform about abortions.
Biden, who wants to pass a federal law that protects a woman’s right to have an abortion, is expected to dial back the Trump administration rule and "restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood."
"The work that we all need to be doing right now is making sure that we are expanding access to health care, not finding ways to limit it," said McGill Johnson of Planned Parenthood.
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