The Trump administration announced May 18 that it will seek to cut millions of dollars in funding to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, that funnel federal Title X family-planning grants into their abortion businesses. Title X distributes some $260 million annually in family planning funding, and Planned Parenthood alone snags up to $60 million of that cash, much of which can be used to benefit its murderous abortion enterprise.
The 1970 legislation that established Title X states: “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” However, over the next two decades, abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood pushed the interpretation of the measure, using Title X family-planning programs to refer women for abortion, locating such programs in their abortion facilities, and using Title X moneys to lobby for policies that furthered abortion.
In 1988, the Reagan administration issued regulations through the Department of Health and Human Services intended to tighten up Title X and end the use of funding to promote abortion. However, after being challenged in court, the regulations were never enforced, and when he took office, Bill Clinton promptly killed the Reagan regulations, so abortion businesses have continued to cash in on Title X funding to the present.
Under President Trump’s proposed “Protect Life Rule,” that loophole would be closed, as Planned Parenthood and other abortionists would be denied Title X dollars unless they physically separate their abortion business from tax-funded family planning programs in which they participate. That would require abortion providers to house their family planning programs at separate facilities and to hire separate staff to administrate the non-abortion programs.
“The proposal would require a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program or facility where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning,” explained an unnamed Trump administration official.
The official added that unlike the Reagan regulation, the Trump proposal “will not prohibit counseling for clients about abortion, but neither will it include the current, potentially illegal mandate that projects must counsel and refer for abortion. 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. Any grantees that perform, support, or refer for abortion have a choice — disentangle themselves from abortion or fund their activities with privately raised funds.”
Predictably, while the cut represents a small fraction of the nearly $500 million it harvests annually from taxpayers (while annually killing over 300,000 pre-born babies), Planned Parenthood nonetheless expressed outrage at being required to follow the law. “This is an attempt to take away women’s basic rights, period,” shrieked Planned Parenthood spokesperson Dawn Laguens. “Under this rule, people will not get the healthcare they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing, and treatment, or even general women’s health exams.”
Feigning concern for the women her company uses for profit ($1.46 billion, according to its latest annual report), Laguens declared that “everyone has the right to information about their healthcare — including information about safe, legal abortion, and every woman deserves the best medical care and information, no matter how much money she makes or where she lives.... They won’t get it under this rule.”
By contrast, Jeanne Mancini of March for Life applauded the president’s latest pro-life action, stating that the money Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have been dishonestly accessing for decades “will now be redirected to comprehensive family health and planning centers that don’t perform abortions and understand that abortion is not healthcare.” She added that her pro-life group “will be pleased to see President Trump deliver on yet another pro-life promise, and we look forward to continued progress in restoring a culture of life here in the United States.”
Similarly, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List said: “We thank President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business.... The Protect Life Rule doesn’t cut a single dime from family planning. It instead directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities. President Trump has shown decisive leadership, delivering on a key promise to pro-life voters who worked so hard to elect him. This is a major victory which will energize the grassroots as we head into the critical midterm elections.”