NATIONAL EAGLE FORUM CAPITOL HILL REPORT
August 19, 2019
This past July, recipients of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Title X grants had to implement several institutional changes to qualify for funds. These changes target abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, who have manipulated the Title X federal funding stream into supplementing their “reproductive health services” for too long.
The changes, announced in February 2019, are meant to restore the integrity of the Title X programming, which is the only federal grant program providing low-income individuals with access to comprehensive family planning and preventative health services. Specifically, some of the provisions include:
In response, Planned Parenthood announced that it would be forgoing Title X. The organization brought in more than $1.6 million in revenue and received $563.8 million in government funding for the year ending on June 30, 2018. On top of that, Planned Parenthood is still receiving government money in the form of Medicaid reimbursements, which accounts for the majority of its government funding. Planned Parenthood will have no problem continuing their abortion services to millions of women.
In reference to HHS’s rule change, Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson said:
"Imagine if you show up as a patient to a health center and the doctor's only ability is to refer you to prenatal care, and you may have already decided that you want to have an abortion," McGill Johnson said. "Federal regulations will ban that doctor from actually giving you advice and referring you to abortion."
For them, abortion is a necessary piece of medical care. They even have a section on their Planned Parenthood Action website dedicated to defending and implying their use of Title X funds for abortion procedures: “By giving women more control over if and when they have children, Title X allows women to have more control over their lives, including their health, careers, and economic security.”
Unfortunately, Americans have also funded abortion globally. In 1984, President Reagan took a step to prohibit this through his Mexico City Policy, which prevents global health organizations that receive U.S. federal funding from providing abortion services. Unfortunately, the policy is not law and has been rescinded by both the Clinton and Obama administrations. President Bushand President Trump both reinstated the policy at the beginning of their Presidential terms.
Although HHS’s Title X rule change and President Trump’s implementation of the Mexico City Policy are good measures, the policies are too easily swayed by Presidential opinion and action. If a Democrat administration were in power, both policies would most likely be reversed. The American people need Congress to enact a permanent ban on the federal funding of abortion to prevent this catch-22. In the meantime, Eagle Forum will continue to support policies preventing government-funded abortion.
Volunteers of Utah Eagle Forum.