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Freedom Fridays

June 29, 2018 –​ Promoting Life in Family Planning 

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What is Title X Funding?

Enacted in 1970, the Family Planning Program, also known as Title X of the Public Health Service Act, provides grant funding to public and non-profit organizations for family planning services. Eligible grantees provide sexually-transmitted disease testing, pregnancy testing, counseling, and other reproductive-related services. Congress appropriated $286 million for the program in 2018. 


 
What is the problem with Title X?

The 1970 law included a strict prohibition against using those funds for “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” However, for nearly two decades, federal regulations have ignored the intent of Congress by requiring that all grantees include abortion providers in their recommended treatment options. This requirement has deterred faith-based and some non-profit groups who do not consider abortion to be a moral method of family planning from applying for the funds. 

The separation between abortion and family planning funds was further weakened by permitting Title X family planning clinics to be “co-located” within the same facility as an abortion provider. 

These lax regulations have allowed Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, to receive nearly $60 million a year in Title X funds. The organization uses these funds to supplant their own, enabling them to provide roughly 300,000 abortions per year. We cannot allow this practice to continue. Under no circumstances should taxpayer dollars be used to promote or offer abortion. 


 
What am I doing about it?

In April, I signed a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar urging him to restore the original intent of Title X by requiring grantees to physically and financially separate abortion facilities from family planning facilities. 

On June 1, 2018, Secretary Azar issued a proposed rule that reverses current practice by ensuring grantees may not refer or promote abortion as a method of family planning. Additionally, clinics will be required to be physically and financially separate from abortion providers.
This week, I signed a second letter to Secretary Azar, expressing strong support for the newly proposed rule. My colleagues and I will continue fighting in Congress to stop taxpayer dollars from funding entities that carry out abortion services.

 

What are they saying?

“The Protect Life Rule will mandate that Title X grant recipients be physically and financially separate from facilities that provide abortions, closing for good the loophole that has allowed organizations like Planned Parenthood to receive Title X taxpayer funding,” said Rep. Ron Estes. “I was proud to help lead this effort in Congress and want to thank President Trump and his administration for issuing the Protect Life Rule, heeding our calls and the calls of millions of Americans who have long demanded that tax dollars not go to abortion providers, just as the law was intended.” Representative Ron Estes

“We thank President Trump for keeping his promise to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, is responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year and has been receiving $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer funds annually. The Protect Life Rule directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions – such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities – without reducing family planning funding by a dime. A plurality of Americans support President Trump’s action to help stop taxpayer funding the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood.” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser