(CNSNews.com) – The Trump administration’s plan to reapply a rule first introduced by the Reagan administration to ensure that federal Title X funds go solely to family planning offices that are separate from abortion providers was applauded by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and similar organizations.
In a press release, the SBA List stated that “the abortion industry has used Title X as a slush fund,” and thanked President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar for “putting a stop to this abuse.”
Last May, the White House announced it would reapply the ‘Protect Life Rule,’ a Reagan-era regulation aimed at restricting the abortion industry from receiving money from Title X, a U.S. federal grant program that provides American citizens with family planning services.
The rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that Title X money can only go to family planning operations and not to entities that include abortion as family planning. The rule stipulates that there must be a physical separation between family planning offices and abortion facilities – no co-locations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that Reagan’s regulation was constitutional.
President Bill Clinton rescinded the rule by executive order when he was in office. “Today, hundreds of abortion clinics are co-located as Title X family planning facilities,” reported Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.). “For example, 266 of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers in the Title X program to the tune of about $56 million each year.”
“Planned Parenthood is an organization that is directly responsible for over seven million deaths of unborn children, a staggering loss of children’s lives,” said Smith.
The Protect Life Rule “would ensure compliance with the [Title X] program’s existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning,” the White House said in a statement.
“The new proposed rule would not cut funds from the Title X program,” reads the statement. “Instead, it would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions. Contrary to recent media reports, HHS’s proposal does not include the so-called ‘gag rule’ on counseling about abortion that was part of the Reagan Administration’s Title X rule.”
The HHS just completed receiving public comment on the new rule, which is now under review by the department. The proposed rule has not yet been implemented.
“The American people have repeatedly and clearly voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion, but for years, their will – expressed in the statute itself – has been ignored,” the SBA List said in a joint comment with the Life Issues Institute.
“We wholly support the Protect Life Rule, which draws a bright line between abortion and family planning in the Title X program,” the press release stated.
In a separate letter, the SBA List also notes that the proposed rule would give states “more flexibility to design a system to help women in need in ways our state deems best and with a wider variety of providers.”
In the same letter, the group criticized the federal government for “telling us how to implement family planning programs in older, tired approaches that don’t respect out values.”
The Susan B. Anthony List is committed to ending abortion “abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, responded negatively to Trump’s proposal to disentangle taxpayer money from the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood stated that “efforts to undermine access to high-quality and affordable birth control and reproductive health services endanger millions of lives.”
The organization said that Trump “proposed a nationwide ‘gag’ rule – a dangerous measure designed to block access to health care for millions of people,” though these reports are false, according to the White House.
Last May, Planned Parenthood filed suit in a Washington, D.C. federal district court against the Trump administration in order to “fight for the four million people who depend on Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care.”
On a related note, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a letter on Monday threatening to sue the President Trump in order to protect Planned Parenthood’s Title X money.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States. Its latest annual report (2016-17) shows that it received $543.7 million in federal government reimbursements and grants, and performed 321,384 abortions that year.