Pro-Life Organizations and Congressmen Express Opposition to New Rule Prohibiting States from Defunding Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood
(Photo : Hourick/Wikimedia/CC) Pro-life groups are urging HHS to take back a proposed rule which prevents states from blocking Title X grants to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

Pro-life groups and lawmakers are protesting a new rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inhibit states from restricting Title X funding to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.

About 14 states had attempted to defund Planned Parenthood after a series of videos were released which revealed the alleged sale of baby body parts by the abortion providers.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said in a statement that though Title X does not go to fund abortion, it allows them to spend more on abortion.

"Those states (which blocked Title X) realize that money is fungible. When Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics receive Title X grant funding, it frees resources for them to spend more on abortion," he said.

The new rule says that the states must give Title X family planning funds to all providers which offer quality reproductive services even if they offer abortions. It seeks to reverse the ban on abortion providers from receiving Title X funding.

"The Title X law itself prevents funds from being used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, but nowhere does the law say that grant recipients must include abortion providers. HHS' new rule is an executive overreach that is simply without basis in the law," Perkins said.

About 110 members of the Congress including two Democrats wrote a letter to the HHS last month to reconsider the new regulation.

They wrote that the HHS had insufficient data to assess health care providers for quality, and asked how the local administrations could classify providers according to their quality.

"If HHS cannot clearly define an 'effective' or 'high quality' provider, it is unclear to us how state and local project grantees are supposed to do so in order to comply with this proposed rule," the letter states.

The lawmakers also urged HHS to prioritize comprehensive health care providers over clinics which offer only reproductive services.

"We urge HHS to reconsider this overreaching and ill-supported rule," they wrote.

Steven H. Aden, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, said that the states must be allowed to channel the Title X funding to maximize health care to women.

"The question isn't whether states should fund Planned Parenthood," Steven H. Aden, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. "All of them do, to my knowledge. The question is whether the states should be permitted by the Obama administration to shepherd limited public health dollars in a way that most effectively delivers primary and secondary health care to women."

Tags Title X, Family planning and reproductive health care, Planned Parenthod, Abortion providers

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