Planned Parenthood filed yet another lawsuit against the Trump administration Wednesday, this time challenging its new sex education priorities.
At issue are new guidelines for Title X grants, which fund family planning programs across the country. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new grant application that prioritizes sexual risk avoidance strategies, including abstinence, and the introduction of natural family planning in addition to artificial contraception.
Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge claims the new guidelines in the Federal Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will put low-income patients at risk, NPR reports. The abortion group receives about $50 million to $60 million in taxpayer-funded Title X grants.
“This is a radical shift, and the way the FOA is written, it just flies in the face of the best medical practice,” said Tanya Atkinson, president of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “It is a radical shift that could have a big impact on people’s health.”
The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and the American Civil Liberties Union also filed a similar lawsuit Wednesday, according to National Review.
Here’s more from NPR:
Reproductive rights advocates have also expressed concerns about language in the document that talks about “the benefits of avoiding sexual risk or returning to a sexually risk-free status, especially (but not only) when communicating with adolescents” — which some see as coded language aimed promoting abstinence only until marriage, even for adult women.
Clare Coleman, president & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, in a statement to NPR called the Trump administration’s approach “disrespectful” to low-income patients and said it undermines Title X “by shifting to a narrow, ideological vision of how people should live their lives: no sex until marriage; family participation at all ages; and natural family planning methods first and foremost.”
Coleman previously criticized the government for not emphasizing artificial contraception in the application. But the grant application does encourage grant recipients to promote “a broad range of family planning methods.” In contrast, the application under the Obama administration emphasized “all forms of contraception,” according to Politico.
In February, Valerie Huber, acting deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, said their goal is to fund Title X programs that effectively teach sexual risk avoidance.
“This is a program that’s important to the administration and we think its really important to make some meaningful changes to extend the coverage of the program,” Huber said.
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins slammed the lawsuit as based in “greed.”
“Planned Parenthood and abortion vendors seem terrified that people will discover just how easy it will be to live a healthy life without them,” Hawkins said. “People make many medical choices that don’t include Planned Parenthood, and the Trump Administration is to be commended for attempting to redirect Title X dollars away from abortion vendors. … The greed of the abortion lobby is on display as once again they go to court to force taxpayers to fund their enterprise.”
Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications at Susan B. Anthony List, also criticized the abortion group for having an entitlement mentality.
“Clearly they view the Title X Family Planning Program as their personal slush fund,” Quigley told NPR, “to which only they are entitled for propping up their massive abortion enterprise.”
There is little evidence that Planned Parenthood’s programs have reduced sexual health risks and teen pregnancies.
In 2017, the Trump administration also cut millions of dollars in grants to Planned Parenthood through the failed Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. HHS spokesman Mark Vafiades told the New York Times last year that there is very little evidence that the program was successful.
However, Planned Parenthood also is suing over those cuts.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, aborting approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.
Its sex education programs repeatedly have been questioned and rejected by concerned parents and school administrators across the country.
In February, CBS also highlighted a group of North Carolina parents’ concerns. They said Planned Parenthood’s “Get Real” curriculum “encourages sixth graders to feel ‘comfortable and ready’ for sex. The petition says the curriculum provides flash cards outlining proper condom usage, for ‘vaginal, oral or anal sex’ and recommends the usage of ‘non-microwavable saran wrap’ as a prophylactic for certain non-reproductive sex acts.”
In 2014, Live Action release an undercover video series showing Planned Parenthood employees encouraging young teens to participate in sado-masochistic sexual activities, including gagging, whipping, asphyxiation, shopping at sex stores and viewing pornography.