Speaker DeLeo pledges to offset cuts under abortion “gag rule”

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo –Wendy Maeda / The Boston Globe, File

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is pledging to offset the loss of federal funding to women’s reproductive health organizations due to a new Trump administration rule covering the federal family planning program known as Title X.

The rule would prohibit family planning clinics funded by the program from making abortion referrals. Critics denounce that as a “gag rule.”

DeLeo, a Democrat, said the House is “deeply troubled” by what he called the Trump administration’s irresponsible decision to withhold funding from health centers that provide reproductive, family planning and women’s health services.

DeLeo said a supplemental budget the House is expected to debate this week will “hold family planning centers harmless should the so-called gag rule go into effect.”

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DeLeo’s proposal has won the backing of abortion rights advocates.

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