The Trump administration will announce today that it is proposing new rules to the Title X family planning program that will direct taxpayer funding away from the abortion industry – a move that will cost Planned Parenthood millions in taxpayer funds.
According to The New York Times, the policy is a return to a policy instituted in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan that bars caregivers at facilities that receive Title X funding from providing any information to patients about abortion. The new Protect Life Rule also requires a “physical separation” and “separate personnel” of abortion-related activities from other family planning facilities.
Even though federal law already prohibits funding organizations that use abortion as a family planning method, this rule change, the new rule goes further and prohibits abortions to be performed on premises receiving Title X funding.
As expected, the abortion industry is responding to the rule change with the usual disingenuous claims.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accused the president of making it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
“This is designed to force doctors and nurses to lie to their patients. It would have devastating consequences across this country.”
Not so, says pro-life groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) who quickly pointed out that the Protect Life Rule “will not cut a single dime from family planning. Instead, it will direct tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities.”
Even though legal challenges are expected, the SBA List points out that similar regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan.
“We thank President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, is responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year and has been receiving $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer funds annually. . . . President Trump has shown decisive leadership, delivering on a key promise to pro-life voters who worked so hard to elect him. This is a major victory which will energize the grassroots as we head into the critical midterm elections.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins agrees, calling today’s move “a major step toward the ultimate goal of ending taxpayers’ forced partnership with the abortion industry. The new regulations will draw a bright line between abortion centers and family planning programs — just as the federal law requires and the Supreme Court has upheld.”
He lamented the fact that Title X family planning funds have been co-mingled with abortion ever since President Bill Clinton issued regulations removing Reagan’s “gag rule” in the 1990s. It allowed Planned Parenthood, an organization that is currently under criminal investigation for selling baby body parts, to get $60 million a year through what he calls “a slush fund” for abortion.
As a result of today’s move, however, “Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers will now have to choose between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars and moving those abortion operations offsite,” Perkins added. “Either way, this will loosen the group’s hold on tens of millions of tax dollars.”
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