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Trump signs bill to let states redirect funds away from abortion clinics


Seema Verma, U.S. administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, addresses reporters outside the White House April 13 alongside Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America. The news conference followed President Donald Trump's signing of a bill allowing states to redirect Title X family planning funding away from clinics that perform abortions and to community clinics that provide comprehensive health care for women and children. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Donald Trump signed a bill into law April 13 that allows states to redirect Title X family planning funding away from clinics that perform abortions and to community clinics that provide comprehensive health care for women and children.

The new law overrides a rule change made in the last days of the Obama administration that prevented states from doing so.

"The clear purpose of this Title X rule change was to benefit abortion providers like Planned Parenthood," said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

"Congress has done well to reverse this very bad public policy, and to restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care," he said in a March 31 statement a day after the Senate voted for the measure.

Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, cast a tiebreaking vote March 30 allowing passage of a joint resolution to block the Obama-era regulation that went into effect Jan. 18, just two days before Trump was sworn in.

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