Planned Parenthood is now no longer entitled to Title X funding, following the ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday that denied Planned Parenthood’s request to reverse the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule that restricts abortion clinic referral.
Enacted in 1970 and administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Title X is a federal family planning program that provides funding to low-income women for reproductive health services such as contraception and screenings for sexually transmitted diseases.
The Title X Protect Life Rule forbids clinics that receive Title X funds from abortion referrals, unless in circumstances involving rape, incest, or a medical emergency. The HHS demands that an “assurance and action plan” be submitted by all Title X grantees by the August 19 deadline to show compliance with the new rule. Subsequently, Planned Parenthood chose to withdraw from Title X rather than make adjustments to policies to comply with the new legislation.
Planned Parenthood will lose approximately $60 million annually in federal funding.
Planned Parenthood would be barred from making abortion referrals or giving abortions if it accepted the funding.
Planned Parenthood’s decision to withdraw from Title X has established a barrier between federal funds and pregnancy termination services.
Federal funding cannot legally reimburse most abortions, though low-income Americans are still able to obtain contraceptives and reproductive health services under Title X’s aid.
Clinics are still allowed to counsel women on abortion under Title X, but they are required not to offer counseling and referral services for it.
The real reasons behind Planned Parenthood’s leaving
The White House said that the move fulfills the president’s promise “to continue to improve women’s health and ensure that federal funds are not used to fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.”
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.) applauded President Trump’s proposal. He said, “There are plenty of health care providers, such as community and rural health centers, that provide the family planning needs of women and will be better stewards of the people’s tax dollars.”
In an interview held by On The Issues, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that aims to provide information to voters about candidates, President Trump answered a question on whether Planned Parenthood should receive funds from federal or State governments, saying that “many things should be cut.” The president added, “We have to take care of women. We have to absolutely take care of women. The abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood should not—absolutely should not—be funded.”
In support of the proposed Title X legislation, the National Review Editorial Board believes that “the Trump administration has made a positive and necessary step not just towards the unambiguously pro-life goal of defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider but also towards carrying out the intent of Congress when it passed Title X … the Trump administration is right to more effectively enforce the will of Congress.”
“We applaud this decision,” the board said.
The New Hampshire Union Leader Editorial Board also supports the Trump administration’s decision.
“Trump wants to reinstate rules similar to those first approved by President Ronald Reagan, which would require a bright line between a facility receiving Title X funds and one performing abortions. Doctors could counsel pregnant women about abortion, but could not refer them for abortions. The U.S. Supreme Court found the Reagan-era rules constitutional in 1991. Abortion providers have no inherent right to the public’s money.”
A statement from HHS focusing on Planned Parenthood said:
“To the extent that Planned Parenthood claims that it must make burdensome changes to comply with the Final Rule, it is actually choosing to place a higher priority on the ability to refer for abortion instead of continuing to receive federal funds to provide a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services to clients in need of these services.”