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Delaware pro-choice groups react to proposed federal funding changes

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Reproductive rights advocates say low-income women in Delaware could lose medical care under a new rule proposed by the Trump administration. It would deny money to groups that provide abortions or refer women to abortion providers.

Federal funding can’t be used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

Ruth Lytle-Barnaby of Planned Parenthood Delaware said they use the family planning money to screen women for cancer and provide birth control. She says the proposed rule threatens access to those services.

“The regulation, if it stands as it’s written now, really eliminates Planned Parenthood from being able to provide services to the women of Delaware who are on Title 10,” she said.

But Lytle-Barnaby added the rule won’t stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortion services to women that need them.

“It is clearly anti-abortion legislation, superimposed on a family planning program," she said. "And that’s just unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for the women in this country.”

Planned Parenthood Delaware serves about 5,000 low-income women in the state.

The proposed rule is currently under review. The process requires a public comment period before a rule is adopted.

A similar rule was proposed by the Reagan administration, but it was never implemented because of legal challenges. President Bill Clinton later rescinded it.

The new rule is also likely to face a court challenge.

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