HHS Proposes Rule that Would Prevent States from Defunding Abortion Providers

By Lauretta Brown | September 7, 2016 | 11:36 AM EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule last week that seeks to ban any recipient of Title X federal funding for family planning from excluding potential funding recipients “for reasons unrelated to its ability to provide services effectively.”

The rule would effectively prevent states from defunding abortion providers.

In a document seeking comment on the proposed rule, HHS noted that “since 2011, 13 states have taken actions to restrict participation by certain types of providers as subrecipients in the Title X program based on factors unrelated to the providers’ ability to provide the services required under Title X effectively.”

“In at least several instances, this has led to disruption of services or reduction of services,” they claimed.

HHS went on to cite examples of Florida and Texas’ attempts to defund abortion providers.

The document added that “data show that restricting specific providers of Title X services has harmful effects on access to family planning services and is linked with increased pregnancy rates that are not in line with population-wide trends.”

According to the HHS document, studies have also shown that state actions to exclude specific family planning providers causes “reduced use of highly effective methods of contraception and corresponding increases in rates of childbirth among populations that rely on federally supported care.”

“None of these state restrictions are related to the subrecipients’ ability to effectively deliver Title X services,” HHS notes.

“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said in response to the proposal Tuesday. “We’ve known all along that the Obama Administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry.”

“Now, they have taken the unprecedented step of thwarting states’ rights with a shady proposed rule change that prevents states from funding the providers who will best serve their citizens,” she argued.

“In the coming days, I intend to lead a letter expressing the deep concerns of Members of Congress on this proposal, but we won’t stop there. We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider,” Black added.