As a result of the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lifting a preliminary injunction on the Protect Life Rule, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced they will begin enforcing new regulations governing the Title X Family Planning Program. In response Planned Parenthood, as well as several states and other abortion providers, have decided to withdraw from the program rather than comply with the new regulations.
This marks the first time that Congress has ever been able to successfully shift domestic federal family planning funds away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The response from Planned Parenthood and others shows that they have only one thing on their mind—abortion. Even though these new regulations mandate that clinics provide non-directive counseling for women on all options when faced with a pregnancy—including abortion—they still refuse to comply.
The refusal of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to abide by federal laws regarding the separation between federal tax dollars and abortion is nothing new. This withdrawal is very similar to when in the early days of his presidency, President Donald Trump instituted the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA) which ensures taxpayer dollars are not used for abortions overseas. Instead of abiding by the requirement that grantees are not allowed to promote or perform abortions, the International Planned Parenthood Federation became one of only four grantees that perform abortions to back out of the program over the policy change.
In 2017, President Trump even made an offer to then Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards that her organization could continue to receive federal funds as long as they committed to no longer performing abortions, and she responded with this: “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.”
If Planned Parenthood truly cared about offering women the other “care” services they claim to provide, they would have had no problem complying. But their refusal to receive grant money to “care” for women by providing other services besides abortion only goes to show that abortion is their bottom line—not the “3 percent” like they claim.
Abortions from Planned Parenthood have increased while their “other services” have consistently decreased. From 2009 to 2014, breast exams at Planned Parenthood dropped by over half (56 percent), cancer screening and prevention programs at Planned Parenthood consistently decreased and dropped by close to two-thirds (63 percent), and prenatal services steadily decreased and dropped by more than half (57 percent). Planned Parenthood performs 18 times more abortions than the prenatal services it provides. Moreover, according to Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 report, out of total services for pregnant women (adoption referrals, prenatal services, abortion), abortion made up over 97 percent.
As of late, newly fired Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen alluded to the fact that her and the Planned Parenthood Board of Director’s philosophy dissected at abortion versus being a robust healthcare entity. The Board wanted abortions and abortion advocacy to be what drives the organization.
This goal is reflected in the fact that Planned Parenthood currently operates over half of all abortion facilitates in the U.S.
For far too long, Title X funds have been entangled with the abortion industry—particularly with Planned Parenthood who received nearly $60 million, all while the authorizing statutory language made it clear that the Title X family planning program must be separate from abortion.
Planned Parenthood has proven itself to be unfaithful with Title X anyways. In order to receive these annual grants, Planned Parenthood and other organizations are expected to comply with state mandatory reporting laws. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly been caught failing to report statutory rape and sex abuse, aiding and abetting sex trafficking, and performing services that it knows are dangerous and low-quality, killing young women such as Tonya Reaves and Cree Erwin.
The new Title X regulations not only enforces the physical separation of Title X activities and abortion centers but it also strengthens the enforcement of Title X recipients’ to be in compliance with mandatory reporting requirements and parental notification laws.
We are thankful Planned Parenthood has decided not to comply with the Protect Life Rule. This disentangles taxpayer dollars with the abortion business, keeps the integrity of the Title X program in place, and frees up resources to go to the other federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and pregnancy resource centers that both outnumber abortion facilities and provide true comprehensive care for women.
It is high time for Planned Parenthood to get out of the family planning business anyway.
Abortion is not healthcare, nor is it family planning.