Planned Parenthood announced Monday it’s formally exiting the Title X federal family planning program over a rule enacted by the Trump administration preventing clinics that receive Title X funds from referring patients for abortion.
Acting Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson told reporters that affiliate clinics that received federal tax dollars through Title X sent letters to the Department of Health and Human Services Monday indicating that they will no longer continue to be part of the program.
“Today, we are announcing that due to an unethical and dangerous gag rule, the Trump administration has forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X — the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care,” Johnson said in a press call.
“Planned Parenthood is still open. Our doors are open today, and our doors will be open tomorrow.”
Title X, which was enacted during the Nixon administration in 1970, grants up to $286 million per year to health care clinics nationwide to provide things such as contraceptives, cancer screenings, STD testing and other health care services to low-income patients.
In her statement to the media, Johnson assured that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, will continue its legal battle against the Protect Life Rule. The rule, slated to go into effect on Sept. 18, bars clinics that receive Title X funds from telling patients how or where to access abortion.
Serving about 40 percent of Title X patients, Planned Parenthood clinics were the largest provider of Title X care in the country.
Pro-life leaders have cheered the new HHS rule as being one that would redirect Title X funds to family planning centers that don’t perform an abortion. For years, pro-life groups have pushed to strip Planned Parenthood of its over $500 million in federal funding every year.
“Planned Parenthood … today made a choice not to separate its abortion operation from Title X services, and in doing declined Title X funding, which makes up approximately 4 percent of their annual budget,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement. “Abortion is neither health care nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life lobbying organization, argued in a statement that the Protect Life Rule does not reduce family planning funding but only “directs taxpayer funding to family planning providers who stay out of the abortion business.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith