WH Proposal Blocks Abortion Funding

May 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Trump administration is filing a proposal today to block facilities from receiving federal dollars for family planning if they are housed in the same building with organizations that provide abortions like Planned Parenthood.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that the proposal was being filed with the Office of Management and Budget in order to “ensure compliance” with laws that prohibit federal funds from going toward abortions. The taxpayer dollars the federal government spends on family planning services, including birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings will not be cut. However, this proposed rule change will drop a requirement that Title X grant recipients provide abortion counseling to patients. After a time of public comment, HHS can make a final decision on the rule.

The $286 million in funds, known as Title X, would also be cut from clinics or programs that support abortion or refer patients to where they can get one for family planning, rather than in cases where a pregnancy would endanger women's lives or health, or when it's the result of rape or incest. The so-called Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of competitive federal family-planning grant funds for abortion, but organizations like Planned Parenthood have traditionally used the federal money for other health services while using private money for abortions and related services — sometimes at the same facilities and with the same staff. Planned Parenthood may still use private funds for abortion. This regulation is similar to the Reagan era regulation, but it bans referrals for abortion but not counseling.

“We commend President Donald Trump for filing this proposal to block facilities that perform abortions from receiving federal dollars for family planning,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Trump has kept his promise to protect the lives of the unborn and to ensure the abortion industry is no longer supported by taxpayers. This is a positive step toward making the womb a safe place again,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.