HHS Awards Planned Parenthood Title X Family Planning Funding For This Year While Weighing Changes

Posted: Aug 02, 2018 7:55 PM
HHS Awards Planned Parenthood Title X Family Planning Funding For This Year While Weighing Changes

The Trump administration will continue to provide Planned Parenthood with Title X grants, according to a list of organizations receiving family planning funds released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs.

The list of 96 organizations receiving Title X funds included 13 Planned Parenthood affiliates.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to continue providing access to high-quality family planning and related preventive health services with an emphasis on overall health and well-being of every person,” Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D. said in a statement. “This vital public health program makes important contributions toward achieving optimal health outcomes for the women and men who depend on it.”

HHS did not provide the amount of funding each organization will receive so it is unclear if Planned Parenthood will receive the same amount of funds as it has in the past. The grants are expected to be awarded no later than September 1st.

Planned Parenthood said the lack of information about the grant amounts and time period was strange. 

“What is clear,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said, “is that HHS intends to award Title X grants to Planned Parenthood for fiscal year 2018, further reinforcing the fact that Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider in the Title X program."

While Planned Parenthood will continue to receive Title X funds for the present, the Trump administration's “Protect Life Rule” would block federal funding for family planning from all organizations that perform or refer for abortions. That change is currently being considered as the comment period for the rule ended on Tuesday.

As Thursday’s HHS announcement points out, “the Title X statute prohibits funds from being used ‘in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’” However, pro-life advocates in favor of the rule change argue that, since money is fungible, the new rule would protect taxpayer funds from being used by abortion providers to cover their other services and freeing up money for abortions.

Regarding the grant announcements, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary Diane Foley told the Associated Press that “the money is for family planning and the announcement has nothing to do with the debate over abortion referrals.”