House Democrats specified Monday that Title X family planning grants could not be used to fund the Trump administration’s new rule that makes a clear distinction between abortion and family planning.
In a budget draft, Democrats are attempting to legislatively protect Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the Trump administration’s rule that prohibits taxpayer family planning funds for facilities that perform or refer for abortions.
“It’s going to save lives, it’s going to keep the Trump administration from shutting the doors of Planned Parenthood, which they have been trying to do from day one,” Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) said on a press call, according to the Washington Examiner.
The Title X gag rule is unethical, it’s dangerous, and it’s illegal.
We at @PPact applaud our healthcare champions in Congress who are taking action to stop the gag rule and protect healthcare for the 4 million people who depend on Title X. #ProtectX https://t.co/rPKIjx9Rfd
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) April 29, 2019
The Trump administration’s rule, originally set to go into effect on May 3, reinstated President Ronald Reagan’s “Protect Life Rule,” which bars the “co-location” of federally funded family planning clinics and abortion clinics.
A federal judge, however, nationally blocked the Trump administration’s rule Thursday. Judge Stanley Bastian of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, granted the preliminary injunction, allowing Planned Parenthood to continue to receive millions of dollars in taxpayer funding under the Title X family planning grant program.
“Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a statement announcing the decision.
The Trump administration’s rule, however, does not cut any funding from the Title X family planning program – only from providers that perform or refer for abortions.
The funds are still distributed to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which actually outnumber abortion facilities 20 to one and provide more comprehensive services to allow low-income women, men, and families to receive healthcare services in a location other than an abortion clinic.
The new rule would block about $60 million in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood because it provides and refers for abortions.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Democrats’ draft bill would raise the amount of the family planning funds by $114 million, to $400 million.
“Our bill will reverse the domestic gag rule,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reportedly said on the press call. “Together we can and we will make a difference for women’s health.”
Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report indicated that, despite the drop in abortions nationally, the group performed over 11,000 more abortions during the year 2017-2018 than in the previous year, as it also took in $1.67 billion in revenue.
The organization’s president, Dr. Leana Wen, admitted recently that abortion is her organization’s “core mission.”