March 16, 2018 – Protecting States’ Right to Choose Life
Repealing CMS’s Pro-Abortion Agenda
What did this regulation do?
In 2016, President Obama’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) stripped states of their ability to refuse to give Medicaid dollars to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Under the CMS guidance, states could only terminate abortion providers from its Medicaid program if the providers were unable to perform the covered health care services.
Why is this a problem?
Following the release of under-cover videos that showed Planned Parenthood facilities selling fetal tissue harvested during abortions, nearly two dozen states, including Arizona, attempted to cut ties with the organization. Federal funding cannot be directly used to provide abortions, but these states correctly realized that providing Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood allows them to shift their own funds away from providing health care services, thus indirectly funding the hundreds of thousands of abortions they carry out each year.
Sadly, CMS’s 2016 guidance was yet another example of the Obama Administration’s efforts to ensure Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers could continue to receive as much federal funding as possible. That Administration’s promotion of abortion and disregard for life was blatant.
What has been done about it?
In January, the Trump Administration rescinded the Obama-era guidance. States can once again determine which health care providers will best serve their communities.
I am thankful that the Trump Administration recognizes the importance of limiting abortion providers’ access to federal taxpayer dollars and protecting the right to life. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to bring the gruesome practice of abortion to an end.
What are they saying?
"I was very grateful to hear that President Trump reversed the direction on how states can distribute funds to healthcare providers. The funds abortion providers have received may not have been directly used for abortion services, but it is well known that money is fungible and there is no accountability for the use of these funds when they are co-mingled. As a pro-life state, Arizona will now have the opportunity to direct these funds to medical professionals who uphold the majority of its resident's values. The country's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has multiple revenue streams; revenue from services, non-profit donations, tax payer funding, revenue from teaching sex ed in schools and as we have seen in the past, sales from baby body parts. Not only do abortion providers not reflect the values of Arizona, but their annual report's revenue streams prove they have other means to operate." – Christine Accurso, CD-5 Pro-Life Advocate
"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently released a statement expressing the Catholic Church's appreciation for the removal of 2016 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required states to provide Medicaid funding to family planning providers, like Planned Parenthood, that perform abortions.
I share the enthusiasm expressed by the USCCB and am appreciative of Congressman Andy Biggs's leadership on this issue. Because of these positive developments at the federal level, I look forward to upcoming changes in Arizona's Medicaid program (AHCCCS) that should allow us make sure that our AHCCCS plans do not even indirectly fund abortions." – Ron Johnson, Executive Director, Arizona Catholic Conference