The Trump administration has put a pro-life advocate in charge of one of Planned Parenthood’s major taxpayer funding streams.
And, unsurprisingly the abortion chain is very angry about it.
Politico reports Valerie Huber, a Trump appointee to the Department of Health and Human Services, will have the final say about the groups that receive money from the $286 million Title X program, which funds family planning services.
Huber, a longtime leader in sexual risk avoidance programs, is the acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at HHS. Pro-life organizations praised President Donald Trump for nominating her and other pro-life leaders to his administration last year.
According to Politico, the HHS office recently made several policy changes related to the Title X program, including the funding approval process. Previously, a regional health official, the HHS deputy assistant secretary for population affairs and the assistant secretary for health gave the final approval; however, now the final decision is solely Huber’s.
An HHS spokesperson said the policy change will “streamline administrative function” and make the process similar to other government grant programs.
But the move has the top abortion chain in America worried about its future.
According to the report:
Women’s health advocates [abortion activists] on the other side of the debate fear that the Trump administration will funnel money away from groups that provide contraception and toward crisis pregnancy centers that oppose abortion or groups that promote abstinence-only education.
“This is unprecedented, and has dangerous implications,” said Kashif Syed, a senior analyst at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We’re talking about a program that 4 million people rely on for basic reproductive health care — or in many cases, their only form of health care. Now is not the time to play politics with people’s lives — but that’s exactly what the Trump-Pence administration is doing.”
Planned Parenthood treats about 41 percent of Title X patients but did not say how much total funding it gets through the program.
A few weeks ago, Huber told reporters that they plan to “make some meaningful changes to extend the coverage of the program.” This likely will include funding to programs that promote sexual risk avoidance, rather than promote risky sexual behavior as Planned Parenthood does.
“We think it’s very important for teens to know that even if they use a condom or contraception, that doesn’t make sex safe. It doesn’t mean they won’t get pregnant. It doesn’t mean they won’t have an STD. It doesn’t mean they won’t have any negative consequences,” Huber said in a 2012 speech cited by Politico. “We think that young people need to know information that is going to help them make the best decision — and that best decision is to wait.”
However, Huber specifically said last month that Planned Parenthood is welcome to apply for grants.
Planned Parenthood claims it does not use tax dollars for abortions, and it’s true that Title X funds are not supposed to fund abortions. However, money is fungible, and the tax dollars that Planned Parenthood receives free up other money for the abortion chain to use to kill unborn babies.
Last month, Trump also introduced a budget that would prohibit abortion providers from receiving Title X and Medicaid funds.
While pro-life Republicans have repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood they have been thwarted in the Senate by pro-abortion Democrats and a handful of pro-abortion Republicans. Trump promised to sign the legislation if Congress can get enough votes to send it to him.