Pro-abortion Democrat governors in 14 states are threatening to sue the Trump administration over a proposed rule that would cut Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding.
This week, they sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar in opposition to the proposed Title X rule, the Missoula Current reports. The rule would defund Planned Parenthood of about $60 million annually or force it to completely separate its abortion business from its taxpayer-funded services.
“[I]f this reckless policy is finalized as written, we will have no choice but to explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block it from harming the women in our states,” the Democratic Governors Association wrote, according to Breitbart. “Our voices will be heard on this damaging proposal, and we are prepared to match our words with action.”
The proposed HHS rule contains three important parts. The first prohibits recipients of taxpayer funds under Title X from referring women for abortions. The second requires abortion groups that receive funds to maintain completely separate facilities that do abortions. Because that is something Planned Parenthood refuses to do, it will no longer be eligible for Title X taxpayer funding.
The final section of the rule requires recipients of Title X dollars to ensure that they follow all state and local laws requiring reporting of child abuse. Interestingly, the Planned Parenthood abortion company repeatedly has 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.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion activists have been lobbying heavily against the proposal and hinting about lawsuits if it is adopted.
The pro-abortion governors claimed the rule would “undermine … important work” that supports women and families through Title X.
“We will continue to consult with our states’ Attorneys General, state legislatures, and state health agencies to stop this rule from harming the millions of women we are sworn to protect,” they wrote.
Governors who signed the letter include Steve Bullock of Montana; Jay Inslee of Washington state; Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island; Andrew Cuomo of New York; Mark Dayton of Minnesota; John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Dan Malloy of Connecticut; David Ige of Hawaii; Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania; Kate Brown of Oregon; John Carney of Delaware; Roy Cooper of North Carolina; Phil Murphy of New Jersey; and Ralph Northam of Virginia.
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.
It is modeled after similar Reagan administration rules that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in Rust v. Sullivan in 1991.
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.
“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.
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.
This is the third 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.
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.