SEATTLE, Wash. - - The Trump Administration announced new rules today that could cause Planned Parenthood to lose millions of dollars in funding.
Leaders of Planned Parenthood in Washington State and some students at a local Christian college are speaking out about the changes.
“It kind of takes away the power to be able to say like I have a voice and it kind of hurts,” said Belinda Garcia, a student at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian college.
After hearing about new rules for Title X set by the Trump Administration, Garcia admits she would never choose to have an abortion but she and other students told us their beliefs shouldn’t impact other people’s choices.
“Who am I to enforce what I believe onto someone else? I don’t know their life, I don’t know where they’re coming from, I don’t know what it means to them. I have no place to choose what they want to do whether I think it is right or not right,” Garcia said.
“As a person who doesn’t have a uterus, I don’t get to tell people who do have one what they do with it. That’s pretty much where I stand with that,” said Jonathan Ringdahl, a post-baccalaureate student.
On Friday, the Trump Administration set new Title X rules that’ll require clinics to operate separately from abortion providers if they want to receive federal funding. Critics say the move could essentially put groups like Planned Parenthood out of business.
“What it means is people possibly having nowhere else to turn because in so many communities, Planned Parenthood and Title X providers are the only reproductive health care that’s available,” said Courtney Normand, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Northwest & Hawaii.
Normand says Planned Parenthood serves nearly 80,000 people in Washington state, many of them low-income patients who receive cancer screenings, birth control and other exams.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke out about the rule changes, saying:
“For months, my team has been focused on preparing for this action. Washingtonians should expect that my legal team and I will defend their rights. Stay tuned.”
“There needs to be funding for it because they practice safe abortions and without that to practice the safe abortions, it’s going to increase the amount of dangerous abortions therefore killing the baby and the mom,” said Seattle Pacific student Quinn Laulainen.
Even with the changes to Title X, abortion is still legal but the debate about it continues.
“In my religious views, I feel that the immediate time the sperm and egg just go together you’re creating a life force. It’s a being with a heart, it’s being with a soul,” said Gage Alston, who's studying to become a nurse at Seattle Pacific.
Officials at Planned Parenthood say they intend to fight the new regulations.