The Trump administration is announcing new regulations today to partially defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses of tens of millions of tax dollars. This is the second time Trump has taken steps to revoke taxpayer funding for the nation’s biggest abortion business — after yanking taxpayer from from International Planned Parenthood during his first week in office.
The United States spends about $260 million in Title X funds annually for family planning for low-income individuals, and Planned Parenthood is a huge recipient of those funds, as much as $50-$60 million annually.
But under the proposed “Protect Life Rule,” Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses would not receive any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion business from their taxpayer-funded services, The Washington Examiner reports. That would mean housing their family planning services elsewhere — potentially in separate buildings and coordinated by separate staff and organizations from its abortion enterprise.
“This proposal does not necessarily defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they’re willing to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning, which is required by the Title X law,” a Trump administration official said. “Any grantees that perform, support, or refer for abortion have a choice – disentangle themselves from abortion or fund their activities with privately raised funds.”
Of course, Planned Parenthood is unwilling to do so. Abortion is its primary focus, and it already is threatening a lawsuit to stop the defunding. However, the proposal is modeled after similar Reagan administration rules that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in Rust v. Sullivan in 1991.
Planned Parenthood Vice President Dawn Laguens quickly slammed the proposal with an absurd claim that her abortion chain is the only place women can go for basic health care.
“This is an attempt to take away women’s basic rights, period,” Laguens said. “Under this rule, people will not get the healthcare they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing, and treatment, or even general women’s health exams.”
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser refuted this by pointing to the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities.
“We thank President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business,” Dannenfelser said. “Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, is responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year and has been receiving $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer funds annually. The Protect Life Rule doesn’t cut a single dime from family planning. It instead directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions …”
Here’s more from the Washington Examiner:
The proposal, which is being filed with the Office of Management and Budget, is based off a policy from when Ronald Reagan was president. An administration official denied that the proposal would contain a “gag rule” preventing doctors from counseling women about abortion, as several news reports have stated, though acknowledged that the rule would no longer contain a mandate that clinics must counsel and refer for abortion. …
The Department of Health and Human Services said that the proposal was being filed in order to “ensure compliance” with laws that prohibit federal funds from going toward abortions. The amount the federal government spends on family planning services, including birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings, will not be cut. The program covers 4 million low-income people.
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins praised the proposed rules.
“You can really see how insidiously entangled the abortion industry is in our government run healthcare programs when abortion allies in Congress get apoplectic because family planning programs don’t require a sales pitch to end the lives of family members,” Hawkins said. “The Trump Administration has every right to require that Title X programs focus on healthcare, not abortion …”
The proposal comes amid strong pleas from grassroots Americans and members of Congress to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. In April, 154 U.S. House members sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking for a rule to prohibit tax dollars from being use to promote abortions.
Title X funds are supposed to be used to help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.
The Trump administration has cut several other streams of funding to Planned Parenthood as well. Soon after Trump took office, he signed the Mexico City Policy to prevent the funding of groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. This includes the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which received tax dollars under the Obama administration.
In addition, in 2017, the Trump administration 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, the abortion chain recently filed a lawsuit challenging the 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.
In December, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating whether the abortion chain illegally sold aborted baby body parts.