Maine Family Planning, which operates 18 healthy clinics in the state says nearly 50 years as Maine's grantee for the Title 10 Family Planning Program, it will withdraw from the program rather than comply with the Trump-Pence gag rule.
That means the network of clinics, partners and providers will lose $1.8 million in federal funds. Maine Family Planning and its partners, which include Planned Parenthood, server more than 23,000 low income women, men and teens each year and offer affordable birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.
Separately Maine Family Planning provides abortion services without using federal money to do so. But it says the gag rule, which restricts how Title 10 providers can speak with their patients about abortion, would make Maine less healthy and they can not abide by what it calls this attack.
Currently, Maine Family Planning is not closing any healthy care centers, it will tap into its reserves while it looks for alternative funding. If it did have to close clinics officials say poor and rural Mainers would be hit the hardest.
Sen. Angus King (ME-I) released a statement Tuesday calling saying: "...these vital services – including cancer screenings, family planning, and other preventive healthcare – are being threatened as part of the Administration's ongoing fixation with standing between a woman and her doctor."
"Maine Family Planning's loss of Title X funding is a loss for Maine women and families, which will disproportionately hurt those who are already struggling."
Governor Janet Mills, who says it is her goal as Governor to ensure that Maine men and women have robust access to health care, is applauding MFP for their commitment to keep their health centers open for as long as possible and said her administration will work with the organization to evaluate if there is any way state government can be helpful.
Governor Mills full statement:
“The Trump Administration’s gag rule is a misguided, backward effort to deny Maine people critical health care like cancer screenings and reproductive health services. Further, it is an attack rooted in ideology – not in concern for public health – and it will only result in reduced access to health care and less healthy people.
“In Maine this year, we have made progress in protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care services – a sharp contrast from what we see politicians in Washington and other states doing. It is my goal as Governor to ensure that Maine men and women have robust access to health care. I applaud Maine Family Planning for their commitment to keep their health centers open for as long as possible, and my Administration will work with them to evaluate if there is any way state government can be helpful.”