Planned Parenthood Forgoing Title X Funding Over New Trump Administration Rules

August 19, 2019 Updated: August 19, 2019

Planned Parenthood said it would not use funding from the federal government’s Title X program because of recent rules put into place by the administration of President Donald Trump.

The Republican president’s administration brought back rules that were initially put into place by the Health and Human Services agency under President Ronald Reagan, forbidding clinics receiving Title X funds from providing counseling or referrals for abortion as a method of family planning.

Those regulations were suspended several years later as President Bill Clinton required recipients of the funds to refer patients for abortions.

The Trump administration announced in February it was seeking to put the rules back into place, referring to it as the “Final Rule.”

The rules also require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X and non-Title X activities.”

President Donald Trump at the White House on July 19, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
President Donald Trump at the White House on July 19, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

A federal appeals court ruled in June that the rules were “a reasonable interpretation” of Title X, the family planning program that Congress created in 1970.

The same court, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, blocked a request by 20 states, Planned Parenthood, and the American Medical Association to suspend the rules this week. Oral arguments over the rules were set to be heard in September.

Planned Parenthood had told the court it would withdraw from the program on Aug. 19 if emergency relief wasn’t granted and on Monday, it announced it was following through.

“Today, the Trump admin is forcing us out of the Title X program—our nation’s program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40 percent of patients. This is a *direct attack* on Planned Parenthood and on our health and rights, and we will not stand for it,” the group said in a statement.

The group argued that it could not “provide quality, ethical medical care” if practitioners were stopped from referring patients for abortions, calling the rules “the gag rule.”

“We aren’t throwing in the towel & we won’t give up on our patients. Being forced out of Title X won’t stop us from referring for or performing abortions, prescribing birth control, or any of our other services. Our doors are open and we are fighting against the gag rule,” the statement continued.

The organization only stands to lose less than 4 percent of its revenue, which in fiscal year 2018 reached close to $1.7 billion. Planned Parenthood performs more than 330,000 abortions a year.

The White House has argued that the rules don’t include “the so-called ‘gag rule’ on counseling about abortion that was part of the Reagan Administration’s Title X rule.”

“The President is pleased to support the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services, which would update the regulations governing the Title X family planning program. This important proposal would ensure compliance with the program’s existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning. The new proposed rule would not cut funds from the Title X program. Instead, it would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions,” the administration stated in May.

Lila Rose, founder of the anti-abortion Live Action non-profit, told The Epoch Times earlier this year that the rules were going to affect Planned Parenthood, harming “their ability to operate and continue to reach their tentacles out into communities and try to get people in for abortions.”

“It’s going to go instead to non-abortion facilities so it is a win, a modest win, but an important win for the pro-life community and for the life of children in the womb,” she added.

Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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