February 22, 2019
The abortion debate rages on in the Senate and U.S. states, President Trump is taking every opportunity to fight back in his own administration. There isn't a single pro-lifer in America who wouldn't love to see Planned Parenthood completely defunded. But until the House and Senate are firmly in the hands of conservatives, the White House is doing its best to chip away at forced partnership between taxpayers and the abortion industry: HHS regulations.
After months of work, the president's team finalized a rule this afternoon that should build an important wall between abortion groups and true family planning program. Right now, no organization is allowed to use the government's family planning dollars for abortion. Planned Parenthood gets around that law, Ben Domenech explains, by drawing an "artificial line" between its abortion clinics and its other family planning services -- "even when those are located in the same facility, and essentially funded jointly."
Starting today, groups like Planned Parenthood will have to choose. They can still take Title X family planning funds -- but not at the clinics where they perform abortions. Under this new "co-location" policy, which dates back to President Reagan, Leana Wen's network will have to decide between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars and moving those abortion operations offsite. Either way, it could take away a significant bite out of the group's $60 million in family planning funds.
Conservatives will get another crack at Planned Parenthood's funding stream -- hopefully soon. Until then, the president keeps fulfilling his pro-life promises. Taking aim at the $60 million abortion businesses get under Title X is a major step to the ultimate goal: ending taxpayers' forced partnership with abortion for good.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.