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Obama Makes Late Move to Protect Planned Parenthood

Last-minute rule is unlikely to last long under Trump
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2016 3:17 AM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2016 5:03 AM CST
Obama Brings in Last-Minute Rule to Protect Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women's access to reproductive health care on "National Pink Out Day'' at Los Angeles City Hall.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

(Newser) – President Obama has brought in a last-minute rule to protect Planned Parenthood funding but it may not be around for long: BuzzFeed reports that the rule barring states from defunding Planned Parenthood and other family planning services will take effect on Jan. 18, just two days before Donald Trump becomes president. The rule, which was drawn up in the hope that Hillary Clinton would win the election and finalize it, ensures that organizations like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions will still be able to get federal Title X money for other services, including cancer screenings, STD tests, and fertility services.

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"President Obama has cemented his legacy as a champion for women's health" with a rule that protects birth control, cancer screenings, "and other health care for millions of people," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement, per NPR. But Trump has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood—which 14 states have already tried to do—and abortion rights supporters and opponents alike predict that the protection introduced by Obama will be short-lived, reports Reuters. "The protections are simply not permanent," says Audrey Sandusky of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association. She says the next Congress will be able to block the rule with a simple majority, a move that Trump is highly unlikely to veto. (Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)

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