The Trump administration released its funding announcement Friday for $260 million in Title X grants for federal family planning. The application emphasizes new priorities including listing “natural family planning services” as one of a list of “core family planning services” that grantees should include in their project proposal. HHS also said that “none of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Valerie Huber, acting deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, told reporters on a call that “all eligible organizations, including Planned Parenthood, are free to apply for this funding announcement.”
According to the application, each potential recipient should “optimally” offer primary health services onsite or have “robust referral linkages to primary health providers in close proximity.”
That could exclude Planned Parenthood facilities that only offer a range of reproductive services.
The application also asks potential funding recipients to cooperate with “community-based and faith-based organizations.”
Planned Parenthood claims that the new priorities are “designed to penalize reproductive health care providers and make it harder for women to access expert reproductive health care under the program.”
“The Trump-Pence administration is quietly taking aim at access to birth control under the nation’s program for affordable reproductive health care, which more than four million people rely on each year,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
“Don’t be fooled — this is a clear attempt to roll back access to the type of birth control that most women want to use,” she added. “The last thing anyone wants is for Donald Trump or Mike Pence to weigh in on her sex life — but this announcement essentially invites them into the bedroom.”
Some pro-life groups, however, applauded the changes. Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, said the program will “help improve and expand quality care.”
“Not only did the HHS announcement emphasize the department’s emphasis on funding programs that focus on the broad range of life-affirming family planning resources such as preconception care, natural family planning, and infertility care,” she commented, “but HHS also made it clear that 'none of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.'”