As the Trump Administration continues to roll back terrible rules and policies from the Obama Administration and earlier, it has now tackled one that will take up to $60 million in taxpayer money out of Planned Parenthood’s pockets.
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is changing a rule in Title X implementation policy that would eliminate abortion providers from receiving the federal money they currently receive through the federal program. Of course, the largest by far is Planned Parenthood, which gets up to $60 million of the $287 million Title X program every year.
The rule change would also prohibit facilities that receive Title X funds from referring patients to specific abortion centers, although it would still allow employees to counsel women about abortion options generally.
This federal program is designed specifically to provide contraceptives to low-income or uninsured people, including those who are not eligible for Medicaid.
The rule change actually reverts back to one that President Reagan instituted in the 1980s. President Clinton, however, did away with it, President Bush did nothing about it and President Obama strengthened it. Trump is obviously a different kind of president.
Importantly, the Reagan-era rule, which the new one mirrors, was already upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. That doesn’t mean that Planned Parenthood and surrogates won’t challenge it, but they won’t win. (Outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.)
This rule change does not defund Planned Parenthood entirely. That will probably require action by Congress, which has shown itself unwilling. The abortion giant still receives funding from other government programs and departments. In fact, the Government Accountability Office found that in a three-year period, the federal government paid abortion providers $26.5 billion. So while federal money is legally barred from paying for abortions, Planned Parenthood’s finances are fungible enough that the money is undoubtedly supporting abortions.
This is all the more important as Planned Parenthood continues to reel from one ugly scandal after another.
Life News reported just yesterday: “The Planned Parenthood abortion chain has been caught repeatedly performing abortions on abuse victims as young as 12 and 13 years old, failing to report suspected sexual abuse to authorities, and sending victims back to their abusers. A new investigative report report chronicles these cases and reveals Planned Parenthood’s decades-long pattern of helping child sex abusers cover up their crimes.”
This comes on top of the sting operation last year by Project Veritas that uncovered Planned Parenthood’s routine selling of baby parts from aborted babies that created a national outcry, despite being attacked in the media.
There’s still a long way to go when it comes to not paying for abortions. But even if Congress is not up to the fight, President Trump is willing to do what is necessary and legal to keep as much public money out of Planned Parenthood as possible.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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