President Trump is going where no president has gone before with his new proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Trump hopes to cut funding for Planned Parenthood out of all Department of Health and Human Services programs, a historic move which no previous White House occupant has ever attempted.
According to reports, Trump’s budget would exclude America’s largest abortion provider from all federal programs, including:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s cancer screening programs
- Zika prevention
- HIV/AIDS testing
- Grants to prevent sexual assault
- Maternal and child health programs
- Sexually transmitted disease prevention grants
- Infertility prevention grants
The $422 million in taxpayer funding for these services and others would instead be redirected to federally qualified community health centers — which enjoy strong bipartisan support, provide more comprehensive care, outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 13 to 1, and serve eight times as many people.
Through this budget proposal, Trump is keeping his promise of “defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions.” This was part of the list of four pro-life commitments then Republican nominee Trump made to his campaign’s Pro-Life Coalition.
Back in March, Trump offered to make a deal with Planned Parenthood that the organization could keep its funding if it stopped providing abortions. Planned Parenthood refused Trump’s offer, putting their roughly $500 million in annual federal funding in jeopardy. Now, it appears the President is holding them to account.
However, the new budget will only completely defund Planned Parenthood provided the American Health Care Act is passed. At a press briefing on Monday, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that the budget fully defunds Planned Parenthood “because it assumes the American Health Care Act passes and the AHCA in its current form, which is the one we assumed — and that’s making a bunch of assumptions, here — that it assumes that passes and that defunds Planned Parenthood.”
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President Trump has held up his end of the bargain with this proposed budget. It is now up to pro-life lawmakers in Congress to follow through on their end by working to ensure that taxpayer funding is completely redirected away from the abortion provider.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore