Now is the time for President Trump’s administration to fulfill a campaign promise of defunding the giant abortion business Planned Parenthood.
That’s according to a letter submitted to the federal Department of Health and Human Services by representatives of nearly 90 organizations, including National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Eagle Forum, Live Action, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Catholic Association.
Collectively, their supporters number in the multiple tens of millions.
During the campaign, the president had vowed to end taxpayer subsidies for abortion-industry leaders such as Planned Parenthood.
Now’s the time to make good, the groups said.
“For far too long the Title X Family Planning Program has been integrated with abortion centers,” the letter states. “It is time to act swifly to disentangle abortion centers from the Title X network. Doing so would be consistent with the president’s pledge and subsequent actions to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate funding to alternative providers.”
Federal law prevents tax dollars from directly paying for most abortions. But abortion businesses collect federal grants for “family planning” then incorporate those operations into their abortion facilities.
The campaign of 85 organizations joined about half the members of the Senate and about one-third of the members of the U.S. House who also wrote letters recently to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking for the defunding.
It was back during Ronald Reagan’s presidency that the program was handled correctly, they explain.
“Reinstating President Ronald Reagan’s Title X regulations is sorely needed to bring the program into clear alignment with the statutory requirement stating, ‘None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’ Abortion is not family planning and the law recognizes that,” the letter said.
Private businesses still could provide abortions, or refer customers, but centers funded by the government “should not refer for abortion or be co-located with abortion clinics,” the letter said.
The Supreme Court, after all, has endorsed the restriction of government funding for abortion.
Title X funding should go to organizations other than Planned Parenthood, which currently receives an estimated $50 million or $60 million annually from Title X, they explain.
“By shifting funding to clinic sites that do not perform or refer for abortion, you will send a strong message that abortion is not family planning consistent with the law creating the program.”
The letter from about 50 senators and one from some 150 members of the House were sent just a few days ago.
They both urge a review and update of the Title X regulations so that “no federal funds” under the program “shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The current regulations “require grantees to refer for abortion,” and that shouldn’t be happening, the letters explain.
“We request swift action to issue new regulations for the Title X program. These new regulations should ensure program integrity by requiring a robust and complete separation of abortion activities from federally funded family planning activities. Any programs failing to achieve this standard should not receive federal funding,” the letters said.
The move would be a severe blow to Planned Parenthood, because it still could participate in the federal funding, but likely would have to set up additional facilities to do that.
“President Trump promised that he would defund Planned Parenthood. Now is the time for the president’s administration to back the president and fulfill that promise,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “The majority of Americans believe that taxpayer funds should not pay for abortions. It’s time to stop putting our tax dollars into the pockets of organizations that kill innocent children.”
A poll this year found that six in 10 people believe that taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion clinics. The Marist poll found that 43 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and nearly 90 percent of Republicans opposed tax dollars paying for a woman’s abortion.