President Donald Trump yesterday made his proposed rule official to defund Planned Parenthood of the $60 million dollars that it receives via Title X Family Planning dollars. Last week the president said the rule would be forthcoming and late Tuesday the Trump Administration released the text to the proposed rule, which will go into effect after a standard 60-day public comment period.
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 proposed rule contains three important parts. The first prohibits recipients of taxpayer funds under Title X from referring women for abortions. The second requires companies that receive Family Planning funds to maintain separate facilities that do abortions as opposed to having their abortion businesses in the same facility as the Family Planning business. Because that is something Planned Parenthood refuses to do, it will no longer be eligible for taxpayer funding under President Trump’s proposed rule.
The final section of the rule requires recipients of the Title 10 Family Planning dollars to ensure that they follow all state and local laws requiring reporting of child abuse. Interestingly, the Planned Parenthood abortion company has repeatedly run afoul of such laws by refusing to report cases of child abuse or rape to law enforcement officials after killing the babies of young teenage girls in abortions.
The proposed rule is available here, and it will be available for public comment for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
The preamble of the proposed rule explains that the statutory authority for the Title X program “contains the following prohibition, which has not been altered since it was enacted in 1970: ‘None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’” The preamble then goes on to state that the Department interprets this section “to establish a broad prohibition on funding, directly or indirectly, activities related to abortion as a method of family planning…The Department has determined that the existing regulations do not ensure compliance with the prohibition” in the original statute.
The three new key sections are as follows:
Section 59.14, Prohibits Title X projects from referring for abortion
“A Title X project may not perform, promote, refer for, or support, abortion as a method of family planning, nor take any other affirmative action to assist a patient to secure such an abortion. If asked, a medical provider may [emphasis added] provide a list of licensed, qualified, comprehensive health service providers (some, but not all of which also provide abortion, in addition to comprehensive prenatal care), but only if a woman who is currently pregnant clearly states that she has already decided to have an abortion.”
Section 59.15, Requires Title X entities to maintain physical and financial separation
“A Title X project must be organized so that it is physically and financially separate …. from activities which are prohibited…”[abortion]. The proposed rule outlines factors for the Secretary to take into consideration to determine whether objective integrity and independence exists, including; “the existence of separate and accurate accounting records,” “the degree of separation from facilities,” and “the existence of separate personnel.”
Section 59.17, Compliance with abuse reporting requirements
“Title X projects shall comply with all State and local laws requiring notification or reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abused, rape, incest, intimate partner violence, or human trafficking (collectively ‘State notification laws’).”In order to receive funds, projects must provide documentation in a number of areas, including a plan to comply with State laws, annual training of all individuals serving clients on behalf of the Title X project, and protocols to counsel minors on how to resist coercion, etc.
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President Trump talked about the new rule last night in a speech to the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
“So today, we have kept another promise. My administration has proposed a new rule to prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that provides abortions,” he said.
In comments to LifeNews, Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, applauded the proposed rule saying “it will go a long way toward getting taxpayers out of the business of funding abortionists like Planned Parenthood. Women can do much better than Planned Parenthood. Comprehensive, preventive healthcare centers outnumber Planned Parenthood 20 to 1, and that’s where women receive genuine expert care without the shadow of abortion hanging over them.”
Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association,agreed, telling LifeNews: “Americans don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for abortions, a fact polling consistently confirms. In redirecting Title X funding to nonviolent women’s health centers, the government ensures that the needs of low income women will continue to be served without lining the pockets of corporate abortion giant, Planned Parenthood.”
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 — which will be cut off after the rule goes into effect.
“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.
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.