Rule denying funds to clinics offering abortion advice divides the Hudson Valley

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Lawmakers and community leaders are making their voices heard about a controversial new rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would deny federal funding to clinics that offer advice on abortions.

President Trump proposed a rule that would cut federal funding to clinics that provide abortions or offer women advice on the procedure and where to have it done.

Long-serving Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell says that if women don't know where to have a safe abortion or simply have less access to quality health care, the number of unwanted pregnancies and unnecessary deaths will skyrocket.

“Driving women back to the bad old days where they'd get back-alley abortions,” she says.

Elizabeth O'Brien, who chairs the pro-life Rockland Right to Life Committee, applauds the president's plan.

“There are many people like myself who think the taking of an unborn life is morally wrong. And the fact that our tax money goes to support it, we find abhorrent,” she says.

Planned Parenthood, including its location in Spring Valley, doesn't just provide access to abortions. It also offers STD and pregnancy testing, Pap smears and birth control - which would no longer be available at low cost if the organization loses federal funding.

The nation's largest provider of safe abortions, Planned Parenthood, released a statement from its Hudson Peconic office. “Everyone, regardless of their income or where they live, deserves the best medical care and information available,” it said. “Under this rule, they won't get it.”

The rule will now be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. If published as is, the rule could face multiple challenges in court, including from Planned Parenthood.

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