On Monday, National Right to Life submitted a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra.
The letter was in opposition to the proposed rule change that would eliminate the requirement that Title X funding recipients maintain a physical and financial separation of family planning from abortion activities. In addition, the rule change would illegally mandate that Title X recipients counsel and refer for abortion.
“The proposed rule would allow the creation of an accounting gimmick that enables Title X funds to support abortion services. Providing Title X dollars to abortion facilities frees up other money that can be used to promote and provide abortion.” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The use of taxpayer funds to support abortion services and facilities is clearly prohibited by the law.”
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Tobias added, “The proposed rule change would also require abortion counseling—contrary to conscience protection laws.”
A shared physical space would make it extremely likely that abortion advertisements or advocacy materials would be on display in the same waiting room used by Title X clients. Additionally, the same staff could be responsible for both providing Title X services and assisting in abortions—adding to the confusion of funding.
National Right to Life noted that Title X was not meant to be used for abortion:
Congress created Title X in 1970 as a preventative family planning program. In order to ensure that the program did not directly or indirectly promote abortion, Congress wrote strong anti-abortion language into the statute.
…This prohibition encompasses both the provision of and promotion of abortion (including referrals) as a method of family planning and requires a complete separation from these activities within the entirety of the program, including physical and financial separation.