DEVELOPING: Trump Administration Issues Revised Guidelines for TITLE X Funding

Randy Kelley
February 25, 2019

'The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime...'(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump finalized the Protect Life Rule on Friday, which redirects government funding away from health centers that provide abortions-partially defunding abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

"Title X explicitly states that no Title X funds 'shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, '" Americans United for Life said of the new HHS rule. "Stopping the taxpayer subsidy of abortion is a crucial step to begin disentangling some of the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that help fuel Planned Parenthood's abortion operations annually", she added. Under the previous rules, Title X services and abortions could "co-locate" in the same center, as long as the abortions were privately funded. If a pregnant patient has made a decision to have an abortion and makes an explicit request for a referral, a doctor would be allowed to provide a list of comprehensive care providers as long as she or he does not indicate which of them offer abortion services.

"It is absolutely appropriate that the new Title X regulations take into account the difference between abortion and healthcare". Tom McClusky with the March for Life says federal funds should only go to organizations that don't provide abortions.

This may be intended as a shot in the arm to Trump's anti-abortion supporters, especially on the religious right.

Such counseling is simply no longer required.

The new rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the federal register.

Proposed by Trump in May, the new restrictions will "deeply impact" the ability of nurse practitioners at Title X facilities to provide comprehensive services, and "contradict medical ethics", said Julie Jenkins, a nurse practitioner at Belfast Family Planning. Dr. Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood, called the new policy an "attack on Title X" and the organization said the rule would make it "impossible" for many Title X clinics to continue participating in the program.

In short, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood will not receive Title X funding if they choose not to comply with the Protect Life Rule.

"This is a life-saving policy change, as abortion vendors have used these family planning resources to underwrite their deadly enterprise", she said. Moreover, clinics will not be allowed to promote abortion as a family planning method. She said the hard-line distinction between abortion service providers and Title X facilities is necessary to avoid inadvertently funding abortion providers simply by sharing facilities and company infrastructure.

The Trump administration is moving to dramatically overhaul the federal family planning program called Title X. It pays for services like contraception and health screenings for 4 million low-income Americans.

The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement. Under the rule, organizations that provide or refer patients for abortions will be ineligible to receive federal funds through the program.

How did Planned Parenthood respond?

The updates announced Friday will replace rules that have been in place since 2000.

Pro-abortion Democrats are obviously perturbed by the rule change.

The rule is expected to be challenged in federal court. In a February 15 letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Senators Patty Murray of Washington, Kamala Harris of California and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire called out HHS for taking numerous shortcuts. And it noted that "numerous major medical associations, 15 governors, 200 members of Congress, more than 20 state and local health departments, and more than 500,000 members of the public submitted comments opposing the rule on constitutional, legal, ethical, and policy grounds".

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