Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost led 21 Republican attorneys general last week in threatening to sue the Biden administration if it forces American taxpayers to fund the abortion industry through the Title X program.
In a letter dated May 17, the attorneys general outlined their opposition to President Joe Biden’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program, the Washington Free Beacon reports. The letter was addressed to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a pro-abortion radical who recently lied about the ban on partial-birth abortions.
“Title X reflects a compromise. It funds services that large numbers of Americans support while withholding that funding from services that large numbers oppose,” the attorneys general wrote. “The Proposed Rule tramples that compromise, by intertwining family-planning services with the divisive issue of publicly funded abortions.”
The changes would reverse a pro-life policy put in place by President Donald Trump that defunded the Planned Parenthood abortion chain of about $60 million.
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The Republican attorneys general said Biden’s rule may violate anti-discrimination law as well as the consciences of millions of Americans. They said the rule will require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to subsidize abortions in direct violation of Title X.
“The proposed rule is not based on public health, but grantee preference to have freer rein of taxpayer dollars,” they wrote.
The letter also points out the HHS’ “health equity” push might violate anti-discrimination law, because “health programs that receive funding from the department may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.”
Title X funds are not supposed to be used for abortions. The program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and the law states that Title X grants may not be used “where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Though the language is clear, the AP reports: “Abortion rights supporters and opponents have argued back and forth over decades, through Democratic and Republican administrations, whether counseling a patient about abortion or referring a patient to a different provider for an abortion violates that language.”
Trump’s rule made it even more clear that Title X recipients cannot refer women for abortions or provide abortions, thus ensuring tax dollars are not used to support the killing of unborn babies.
But Biden’s rule will allow abortion providers to begin receiving the funding again and require providers to refer patients for abortions.
Some pro-life leaders have warned that the proposed changes also could force doctors and other pro-life medical professionals to refer patients for abortions through the program.
“The current Title X rules ensure that taxpayer dollars don’t fund programs promoting abortion, but the revised Title X rule compromises healthcare professionals’ freedom of conscience by requiring Title X participants to refer patients for abortion and contraceptives,” said Denise Harle, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, at a press conference hosted by the pro-life Ethics and Public Policy Center last week.
“The revised rule targets everyone who believes abortion is not birth control and imposes a one-size-fits-all method of family planning on the public,” Harle said.
The changes are not in effect yet. A 30-day comment period concluded last week, and the rule must go through final review before the Biden administration can implement it.
If the Biden administration does enforce the changes, the 21 attorneys general said they may challenge them in court. Others who signed the letter included the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
A recent Marist poll found that, by a double-digit margin, a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).