President Donald Trump privately signed a bill on Thursday that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood, a group frequently targeted by Republicans.
The signing of the bill could be seen as part of efforts targeted at repealing the Obamacare and replacing it with a new health policy championed by the Republicans.
The bill, which the usually camera-friendly President signed without any media present, reverses an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from facilities that perform abortions, arguing that many of these facilities also provide other family planning and medical services.
The bulk of federal money Planned Parenthood receives, though, goes toward preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services.
Federal law prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and Planned Parenthood says 3% of the services it provides are abortions.
The signing comes weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, a social conservative who regularly touts his anti-abortion stances, cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate after two Republicans opposed the measure.
“(Women’s) worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
The law once again raises questions about the power Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and aide, actually wields inside the West Wing.
The first daughter met with president of Planned Parenthood shortly after her father was inaugurated in an attempt to better understand the group that is regularly targeted by Republicans.
She has also cultivated an image of a moderating force inside the White House.
The President has even said Ivanka Trump would be his guide on women’s health issues.
“Ivanka is so much into that whole issue of women’s health and women,” Trump said in a 2015 interview with Fox News. “And she’s my guide on that whole subject.”
Read more: CNN