Americans have the chance to voice their support this month for a new Trump administration proposal that would defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood of tens of millions of tax dollars.
The rule, which would help ensure no Title X Family Planning funds are being used to support the killing of unborn babies, became available for public comment Friday.
If enacted, it would defund Planned Parenthood of about $60 million annually or force it to completely separate its abortion business from its taxpayer-funded services. Current Planned Parenthood leader Dawn Laguens already has said it will not separate its abortion practices.
People can submit public comments about the rule through an online form or the mail. The comment period will continue through July 31. Comments may be as short or long as the person wishes.
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, praised the rule, saying abortion groups often use Title X as “their own personal slush fund.” However, she warned that the rule is not a done deal, and urged pro-life advocates to submit comments.
“After the 60-day comment period is up, HHS will review the comments and issue a final rule based on the public’s feedback,” Nance said in a statement. “This is where we need your help. The comment period opens TODAY, and we want to express our appreciation for this important rule.”
ACTION: To submit a comment:
- Find the proposed rule at this link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/01/2018-11673/compliance-with-statutory-program-integrity-requirements
- Select the green button labeled “Submit A Formal Comment”
- Fill out the comment form. Personal information is optional. If included, certain personal information will be published publicly with the comment.
- The comment period will close on July 31, 2018.
Written comments also may be sent through the mail to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Population Affairs, Attention: Family Planning, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 716G, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.
Tips for writing an effective comment are available here.
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 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.
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, at about $60 million annually.
“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 Planned Parenthood 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.
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.