WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In December 2016, former President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a regulation blocking states from defunding Planned Parenthood from federal Title X family planning funds, effectively creating a backdoor handout for the abortion industry.
Today, the House voted to overrule Obama’s harmful regulation by passing Rep. Diane Black’s (R-Tenn.) H.J. Res. 43, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Under the CRA, Congress has 60 legislative days to overturn agency rules like this one, and it requires only 51 votes in the Senate. Title X is a federal grant program that provides funds for family planning services. Many states have passed laws to exclude such funds from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. While often Title X grants go to private entities, many states are the main grant recipient of these funds. Those states realize that money is fungible. When Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics receive Title X family planning funding, it frees resources for them to spend more on abortion. The Title X law itself prevents funds from being used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, but nowhere does the law say that grant recipients must include abortion providers. Obama’s HHS rule is an executive overreach that is without basis in the law.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released the following comments:
“Under the Trump administration taxpayers can finally begin the process of derailing the gravy train carrying hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood and their allies. Planned Parenthood's political arm spent more than $38 million in this past November's election. An organization that directly receives taxpayer funding should not be able to spend money to influence the outcome of elections.
“Every state should be free to decide how it spends its dollars -- especially if they're choosing positive alternatives to ‘abortion-as-health-care’ model. Obama's HHS rule on Title X is an executive overreach and a handout to the abortion industry that has no basis in law.
“I am grateful to Rep. Diane Black for introducing this legislation, and to the House for voting to pass the CRA resolution of disapproval to overturn former President Obama’s Title X overreach. The Senate now needs to follow suit and pass Senator Joni Ernst’s companion legislation, S.J. Res 13. As a nation, we are without excuse in subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s gruesome trafficking of baby body parts and their inhumane treatment of mothers and their unborn children,” Perkins concluded.