U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ-04), Diane Black (R-TN-06), Ron Estes (R-KS-04) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04) joined 149 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting that the department move swiftly to issue new regulations for the Title X Family Planning Program.
Citing the troubling ways existing Title X regulations have blurred the line between abortion and family planning, the letter calls for revised regulations that will require the federally-funded Title X service sites to be physically and financially separate from facilities that provide abortion, and to eliminate the federal mandate requiring Title X providers to refer for abortions.
The letter also noted Members’ deep concern that, while Congress has made multiple attempts to protect taxpayers from being forced to underwrite Planned Parenthood, the organization continues to receive an average of nearly $60 million annually from the Title X program. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and reported performing 321,384 abortions in 2016.
“For far too long, the Title X program has been a slush fund for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood dismembers or chemically poisons a baby to death every two minutes – killing over 7 million innocent children since 1973. I hope that the Administration will finally turn off this funding stream for Planned Parenthood – “Child Abuse Incorporated.” said Congressman Smith.
“The integrity of taxpayer dollars should never be in question, let alone specified funding for Title X Family Planning Program recipients. Once again, we see that federal funds are being funneled to abortion service sites when the majority of Americans are opposed to this industry. It is my hope that Secretary Azar will review and update these regulations to stop funding for programs, like Planned Parenthood, that disgustingly dub abortion ‘family planning.’” said Congressman Black. “It is family destruction, and it’s time to ensure that our money is funding actual family planning programs, and not our nation’s largest abortion provider.”
“For years, Kansans have spoken loud and clear – they do not want federal dollars used for abortions. Our letter outlines the need for updated regulations when it comes to Title X Family Planning funding in an effort to protect life while providing actual family planning care to those who need it, as was intended by the law and upheld by the Supreme Court,” said Congressman Estes. “Now is the time to be clear about taxpayer dollars and provide quality family planning services without funneling money to the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
“Abortion is not family planning and yet, the largest abortion provider in our country receives a significant amount of federal family planning grant funding. I’ve joined my colleagues in calling on Secretary Azar to update the federal regulations in order to draw a bright line between family planning and the abortion industry to ensure no federal tax dollars go to abortion providers. We have an opportunity to restore program integrity and to safeguard the vulnerable lives of unborn children.” said Congresswoman Hartzler.
Click HERE to view the House letter to Secretary Azar.
A companion letter was also released today by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT) and 37 of their colleagues, as well as a letter from pro-life leaders. The Senate letter can be viewed HERE, and the letter by pro-life leaders can be viewed HERE.