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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Obama administration is working to impede states from defunding abortionists.
A proposal released last week from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is threatening state legislators with a loss of federal funding currently provided under Title X should lawmakers vote to withdraw funding from the abortion industry. Described in the text of the HHS proposal as enabling "individuals to freely determine the number and spacing of children," Title X, passed in 1970 under Pres. Richard Nixon, is the only federal program dedicated to "family planning and related preventive services."
The line in question from the HHS rule is aimed at banning recipients of funding under Title X from withholding federal dollars from qualified recipients "for reasons unrelated to its ability to provide services effectively." According to the HHS, "since 2011, 13 states have taken actions to restrict participation by certain types of providers as subrecipients in the Title X program based on factors unrelated to the providers' ability to provide the services required under Title X effectively."
The federal department maintains in "several instances" such actions from state lawmakers have "led to disruption of services or reduction of services."
Without mentioning the word "abortion," the proposal goes on to cite examples from Florida and Texas in which both states sought to withhold federal funding from abortionists.
"None of these state restrictions are related to the subrecipients' ability to effectively deliver Title X services," the HHS maintains. The outcome of such legislative action, the department continues, was "reduced use of highly effective methods of contraception" and in turn an increase "in rates of childbirth among populations that rely on federally supported care."
The proposal has already received much criticism from various representatives, with Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee calling the move a "stunt" that "should surprise absolutely no one."
"We've known all along that the Obama administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry," the Republican lawmaker remarked in a statement Tuesday. "Now, they have taken the unprecedented step of thwarting states' rights with a shady proposed rule change that prevents states from funding the providers who will best serve their citizens."
Black, responsible for the 2015 Defund Planned Parenthood Act, currently stymied in the Senate, went on to declare her intent to gather "the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement" in order to "defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider."
"The Obama administration is once again unilaterally trampling on the rights of conscientious citizens and of states that object to their taxpayer funds flowing to the nation's largest chain of abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood," maintains Maureen Ferguson of the Catholic Association.
The proposal, however, is not without its cheerleaders. Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida described attempts from Republican-led states to defund Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry in general as "outrageous" and such actions "should be against the rules."
Wasserman Schultz's sentiments were echoed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who maintained that for many women across the country Planned Parenthood is "the only place they can go."
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards asserts the HHS rule will make "a real difference in so many people's lives" and decried the backlash from Republicans as poor attempts to "pursue their agenda to stop women from getting the care they need."
The abortion giant currently remains under investigation over allegations it sold aborted baby parts for profit, with Rep. Black heading the probe as a member of the Select Panel on Infant Lives. The inquiry, Black states, has uncovered "unlawful" and "unethical" practices.
Planned Parenthood denies having participated in any illegal activities, but the U.S. congressional panel investigating the abortion giant has issued reports proving that Planned Parenthood's traffic in aborted parts has resulted in "pure profit."
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