Pro-Life Groups, Congressmen Ask HHS Secretary to Stop Title X Funds from Going to Abortion Providers

By Melanie Arter | May 2, 2018 | 7:44 PM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) - More than 85 state and national pro-life groups as well as 41 senators and 153 congressmen and women are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to revise Title X family planning rules.

“The pro-life grassroots are furious with the inability of the Republican-controlled Congress to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. We urge the Trump administration to act swiftly to revise the Title X regulations, stopping the flow of Title X dollars to abortion centers,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

“Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion business and responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year, currently receives $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer dollars annually. A win like this would immediately disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business and energize the grassroots as we head into the critical midterm elections,” Dannenfelser said.

“For far too long the Title X Family Planning Program has been integrated with abortion centers. It is time to act swiftly 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,” the pro-life groups stated in their letter to Azar.

“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 stated.

Forty-one senators led by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Lankford (Okla.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) sent a companion letter to Azar, as well as 153 congressmen and women led by Reps. Ron Estes (R-Kan.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

In Rust v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld regulations by the Reagan administration that required Title X funding to go to family planning clinics that did not perform or refer patients for abortions.

“The Reagan regulations complied with this requirement by directing taxpayer funds to Title X locations that did not perform or refer for abortion. This action does not ban abortion or abortion referral in the private sector. It only governs the types of centers that the federal government chooses to fund using taxpayer dollars,” the letter stated.

“Federally funded family planning centers should not refer for abortion or be co-located with abortion clinics. These regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan (500 U.S. 173),” it stated.

“The result of this policy is simply to separate the Title X network of family planning providers from abortionists like Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion chain. A GAO report issued earlier this year showed that Title X is currently Planned Parenthood’s second largest funding stream, generating $50-$60 million for the abortion giant,” the letter noted.

“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. In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, Congress provided $286 million for the Title X program. It is time to reinstate common-sense pro-life safeguards before the end of the fiscal year when the Congress and the President will face another funding deadline,” the letter concluded.

 

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