Three states are putting together lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump’s new administrative rule that would partially defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and deprive it of as much as $60 million in taxpayer dollars. This action adds to President Trump’s record of defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion company.
The abortion chain receives about $50 million to $60 million in Title X funds annually, but that could change now that the new rules are being implemented. The administration’s changes to Title X family planning grants have angered the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, prompting a lawsuit, but they provide hope for life-affirming pregnancy centers, which can now compete with the abortion giant for the federal funds.
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.
Although pro-life groups praised President Trump for his decision to partially defund the abortion business, abortion advocates have blasted him with false claims that it somehow deprives women for legitimate health care because Planned Parenthood family entities can’t promote abortion. Three pro-abortion state attorneys genera are among the group of critics — including AGs from Washington, Oregon and Connecticut who plan to band together to sue the Trump administration over the rule.
Connecticut will join other states in suing to block a new Trump administration mandate that bars federal family-planning money from going to health care groups that offer abortion referrals.
Attorney General William Tong said he would take “swift legal action” to preserve the federal funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood. Officials in Washington state and Oregon also have pledged to sue the Trump administration over the decision.
The providers will still be able to perform abortions, but would have to do so in separate facilities and abide by the requirement that they not refer patients to those facilities.
“Women have a right to safe, affordable reproductive health care free from political interference,” Tong said. “This action seeks to push a politically-motivated, anti-choice agenda on millions of individuals who rely on the Title X program for access to birth control and safe reproductive health care.”
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The abortion company admits the new Trump rule would cut off some of its taxpayer funding:
For the most recent grant cycle, which runs from April 2018 through late March of this year, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England received $2.4 million in Title X funding, its president and CEO, Amanda Skinner, said. That represents about 7 percent of the group’s annual budget.
And that is something pro-life group’s celebrate:
Christina Bennett, communications director for the Family Institute of Connecticut, which opposes abortion, said faith-based centers typically do their own fundraising, but she was heartened to hear about the new regulations.
“We’re grateful for whatever funds are re-directed away from Planned Parenthood because we not believe that taxpayer funds should go to organizations that offer services that many millions of Americans don’t support, as in abortions,” she said Tuesday.
Last May, the Trump administration published a new proposal for Title X that would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Most Planned Parenthood entities are not expected to comply.
Under the new directive, which will take effect in 60 days, organizations receiving Title X funding have 120 days to financially separate their family planning and abortion operations and one year to physically separate their family planning and abortion operations.
The “Protect Life Rule,” as that proposal is known, was finalized today. And pro-life groups are delighted by the news.
The new rule does not hurt legitimate health care efforts for women.
“We thank President Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
She told LifeNews: “The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions. The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives almost $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars. We thank President Trump and Secretary Azar for ensuring that the Title X program is truly about funding family planning, not abortion.”
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias also praised President Trump and noted that the decision doesn’t adversely affect women’s health because the federal funds will go to legitimate family planning efforts instead of places that kill babies in abortions.
“We thank President Trump and Health & Human Services Secretary Azar for their numerous actions to restore pro-life policies,” she told LifeNews. “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.”
According to National Right to Life, during the Reagan Administration, regulations were issued, with National Right to Life’s strong support, to restore the original character of Title X by prohibiting referral for abortion except in life endangering circumstances. Additionally, abortion facilities could not generally share the same location with a Title X site.
In the 1991 Rust v. Sullivan decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found similar regulations permissible.
However, the Clinton Administration would later reverse these regulations.
A recent Marist poll found that, by a double-digit margin, a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).