Twenty pro-abortion attorneys general publicly opposed the Trump administration’s new sexual risk avoidance priorities in a brief filed Tuesday.
Their friend-of-the-court brief supports Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge of the new Title X family planning fund priorities, the AP reports.
In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new Title X grant application that prioritizes sexual risk avoidance strategies, including abstinence, and natural family planning as well as artificial contraception.
Bizarrely, Planned Parenthood argued these new priorities will increase unintended pregnancies and hurt millions of patients, according to Courthouse News.
What they really will hurt is Planned Parenthood’s budget. The abortion chain receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars through Title X every year to push its risky sex education programs and more. That could change under the new priorities.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra basically said as much Tuesday in a statement.
“By changing the rules, the Trump administration is threatening basic access to essential health care for women and families throughout the country,” Becerra said. “They’re shrinking the universe of services that a woman or family can access — having nothing to do with what’s related to wise health care choices.”
He claimed 4 million low-income patients could be negatively affected by the new HHS priorities. The Title X budget for 2018-2019 is $286 million, and Planned Parenthood receives a large percentage of it.
Joining him in the friend-of-the-court brief were attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar lawsuit this spring, according to National Review.
NPR reports more about the controversy:
Reproductive rights [abortion] 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 also criticized the government for not emphasizing artificial contraception in the application. But the grant application does encourage Title X 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.
Earlier this month, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins slammed Planned Parenthood’s 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.”
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.