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Gag Order


Even among informed people, too much election discourse concerns marginal distinctions in legislative proposals and far too little on the immense discretion wielded by the executive branch. Another case in point:

Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials.

The rule, which is to be announced Friday, is a top priority of social conservatives and is the latest move by President Trump to impose curbs on abortion rights, in this case by withholding money from any facility or program that promotes abortion or refers patients to a caregiver that will provide one.

The policy would be a return to one instituted in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan that required abortion services to have a “physical separation” and “separate personnel” from other family planning activities. That policy is often described as a domestic gag rule because it barred caregivers at facilities that received family planning funds from providing any information to patients about an abortion or where to receive one.

Federal family planning laws already bar direct funding of organizations that use abortion as a family planning method. But conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressing Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, to tighten the rules further so that abortions could not occur — or be performed by the same staff — at locations that receive Title X federal family planning money.

Still, the not merely Hyde Amendment-opposing Democratic candidate for president once used the phrase “safe, legal and rare” so really both parties are the same, and indeed refusing to support Hillary Clinton was a means of protecting abortion rights, by [loud buzzing noise.]

Another thing to add is that it’s perfectly rational for social reactionaries to support Trump despite his louche lifestyle. He’s delivering the policies they want, and if Kennedy leaves with Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate the great white whale of overruling Roe itself will be achieved. The problem with this isn’t the hypocrisy, the problem is the policies they want and that Trump is advancing are utterly horrible.

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