by Thomas Valentine
Planned Parenthood has decided to put its abortion business first by withdrawing from the Title X program over a new prohibition on federal abortion funding.
As we’ve covered extensively at the National Pulse, the Trump administration has implemented a new rule prohibiting federal taxpayer dollars from the Title X program from being disbursed to any facility that performs or promotes abortions. Title X is a federal family planning initiative created in 1970.
Planned Parenthood received about $60 million in taxpayer dollars every year under the program, accounting for about 12 percent of its total annual taxpayer funding.
Planned Parenthood was eligible to continue receiving the funding if they directed it towards locations that did not perform or refer for abortions. Rather than comply with the new rule, Planned Parenthood took legal action seeking to block it. But all legal challenges to the new rule have failed thus far. The ultra-leftist Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously allowed the Trump administration to move forward with implementing the rule, since it is virtually identical to a Reagan administration rule that was upheld by the Supreme Court but never implemented.
Facing an August 19 deadline to submit a plan to comply with the rule to the Department of Health and Human Services, Planned Parenthood made a last-ditch effort to convince the Ninth Circuit to block the rule while the lawsuits played out, but the court again declined to block it. So Planned Parenthood announced yesterday that they would withdraw from the program and forgo the money rather than jeopardize their abortion business.
Planned Parenthood condemned the new prohibition as a “gag rule” in a press conference call. They declined to disclose exactly how much revenue they would lose.
An HHS official responded in a statement, “Some grantees are now blaming the government for their own actions — having chosen to accept the grant while failing to comply with the regulations that accompany it — and they are abandoning their obligations to serve their patients under the program.”
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said Planned Parenthood’s withdrawal combined with the recent firing of Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen — reportedly over her reluctance to put abortion over other health care matters — is evidence that Planned Parenthood’s ultimate goal is “political abortion advocacy, not healthcare.”
The money that went to Planned Parenthood will now be redirected towards federally qualified comprehensive health care centers. The Susan B. Anthony List noted that these community health clinics outnumber Planned Parenthood locations 20 to 1, and the additional money they receive as a result of Planned Parenthood’s withdrawal could allow each of the 13,000 clinics to see two more clients per week.
Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0