The Trump administration has announced it will move forward with a new rule that will cut some of the taxpayer funding that goes to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers under the federal Title X program.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule will bar facilities and programs that perform abortions or refer for them from receiving taxpayer funding under the Title X family planning program. Currently, 266 Planned Parenthood abortion centers receive Title X funding. They were formerly allowed to receive the funding as long as they kept it separate from abortion operations. But money is fungible, and a dollar received for other programs frees up a dollar to be used on abortions.
Under this new rule, the government funding will now be redirected away from abortion providers and towards federally qualified comprehensive health care centers. Planned Parenthood locations that want to receive Title X dollars can continue doing so if they stop performing abortions.
The new rule will require “a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning,” according to a Trump administration official speaking to The Weekly Standard.
The new rule is similar to the one briefly implemented by President Ronald Reagan, which was upheld by the Supreme Court but rescinded by President Bill Clinton.
The rule will cut around $50-60 million in annual taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. It will not fully defund Planned Parenthood, which receives nearly half a billion in taxpayer dollars each year, but it marks a huge milestone towards that goal and is a significant development in the ongoing effort to fully defund the abortion giant.
Planned Parenthood responded to the news in a predictably apocalyptic tone:
“Won’t cut a dime from family planning” ignores the more than 40% of family planning patients who will be prevented from getting health care at Planned Parenthood. #NoGagRule #IStandwithPP https://t.co/ePW8vogUzJ
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 18, 2018
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) responded to the news on Twitter as well:
FACT: Title X provides 4% of PP’s income.
PP claims 1.6 M of their 2.4 M clients are served with 4% of their income?
The numbers don’t wash.
— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) May 18, 2018
SBA List also wrote in a press release:
“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. The Protect Life Rule doesn’t cut a single dime from family planning. It instead directs 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. 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.”
Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0