One hundred and fifty-three members of the House of Representatives, 40 senators, and more than 85 pro-life groups sent letters Tuesday to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging him to revise Title X regulations. They are calling for requiring that federally-funded Title X service sites be physically and financially separate from facilities that provide abortion, eliminating a federal mandate requiring Title X providers to refer for abortions, and removing abortion referrals from the program.
The House lawmakers note that their requests “are not unprecedented,” citing that the Supreme Court upheld 1988 Title X Reagan-era regulations requiring that “none of the funds appropriated under Title X may be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The members’ letter also expresses their concern over the findings of a recent GAO report that the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, received an average of nearly $60 million annually from the Title X program between 2013 and 2015.
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), commented of the letter “once again, we see that federal funds are being funneled to abortion service sites when the majority of Americans are opposed to this industry.”
“It is my hope that Secretary Azar will review and update these regulations to stop funding for programs, like Planned Parenthood, that disgustingly dub abortion ‘family planning.’ It is family destruction, and it’s time to ensure that our money is funding actual family planning programs, and not our nation’s largest abortion provider,” she concluded.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said that “for far too long, the Title X program has been a slush fund for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood dismembers or chemically poisons a baby to death every two minutes – killing over 7 million innocent children since 1973. I hope that the Administration will finally turn off this funding stream for Planned Parenthood.”
Axios reported Monday that President Trump is considering the move.
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens called the proposal “outrageous.”
"This is a domestic gag rule --- and would be a radical departure from the way health care has operated in the United States up until now,” she claimed. “It would prohibit any health care provider from sharing information about, referring patients for, or even mentioning the word abortion if they serve patients through Title X. This would have devastating consequences, and essentially dismantle the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, which 4 million people rely on. This policy is dangerous -- it would keep women from having information, and from getting the best health care possible."