Pro-Life Groups Praise President Trump for Defunding Planned Parenthood Again

National   |   Steven Ertelt, Micaiah Bilger   |   May 18, 2018   |   1:21PM   |   Washington, DC

Leading pro-life organizations and pro-life members of Congress are thinking President Donald Trump today for partially defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. President Trump announced plans to change the Title X Family Planning funding rules to revoke taxpayer funding from the Planned Parenthood abortion business if it refuses to separate its abortion business from other activities. Because Planned Parenthood will refuse to do that it would ultimately lose tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

As LifeNews reported, 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.

Leading pro-life groups are delighted by the news.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias told LifeNews, “We thank President Trump for the numerous actions his administration has taken to restore pro-life policies. We are encouraged to see the announcement of Title X regulations that are back in line with previous policy that prevents federal dollars from being used to directly or indirectly promote abortion domestically.”

Bradley Mattes, President of Life Issues Institute, said “President Trump kept his pro-life promise and just secured another MAJOR pro-life victory!”

“The Protect Life Rule will direct our hard-earned taxpayer dollars AWAY from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. Right now, Title X is a slush fund for Planned Parenthood. It is their second biggest source of taxpayer funding at around $60 million per year,” he explained. “This is an historic moment in our decades-long fight to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.”

“President Trump has stood strong on his campaign promise to be a pro-life president. He appointed pro-life Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, he has stood up strongly for conscience rights and religious liberty, and has worked tirelessly to stop taxpayer funding of abortion both here at home and abroad,” he added.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and one of the leading pro-life members of Congress for deccades, told LifeNews he’s very happy by the decision.

“President Trump’s new Protect Life Rule at long last reinstates principles first put forward under the Reagan Administration, and upheld by the Supreme Court nearly three decades ago. The Reagan rule reinstated by the current Administration finally creates a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning. Abortion is not family planning—in sharp contrast, the violence of abortion wounds families,” Smith said.

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“We commend President Donald Trump for filing this proposal to block facilities that perform abortions from receiving federal dollars for family planning,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Trump has kept his promise to protect the lives of the unborn and to ensure the abortion industry is no longer supported by taxpayers. This is a positive step toward making the womb a safe place again.”

And Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life added: “March for Life applauds HHS Secretary Azar and President Trump’s entire administration for reinstating Title X regulations that disentangle taxpayer dollars from funding abortion. This money will now be redirected to comprehensive family health and planning centers that don’t perform abortions and understand that abortion is not healthcare. The pro-life grassroots will be pleased to see President Trump deliver on yet another pro-life promise, and we look forward to continued progress in restoring a culture of life here in the United States.”

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.”

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.