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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Planned Parenthood stands to lose around $60 million in federal funding under a new rule issued by the Trump administration.
On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a rule that restricts federal funding to organizations that provide abortion referrals. This means organizations can no longer take federal funds if their counseling includes any information on where or how to get an abortion — encompassing practically every Planned Parenthood clinic in the nation, including those that do not perform abortions.
The anticipated ruling is predicted to cut $60 million from Planned Parenthood's coffers.
The rule, first proposed by HHS last year under the Title X Family Planning Program, bars groups from providing abortions if they are performed in the same building as other services funded by federal money. The rule would also block funding for organizations that refer women elsewhere for abortions.
In short, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood will not receive Title X funding if they choose not to comply with the Protect Life Rule.
The rule advances President Trump's promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses and comes as no surprise after Trump's Feb. 5 remarks at the State of the Union Address: "Let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God." The President — called by a number of pro-life leaders "the most pro-life President in U.S. history" — also used the occasion to appeal to lawmakers to "build a culture that cherishes innocent life," terms evocative of the phrase "culture of life" used by Pope St. John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae.
Numerous Democrat governors have reportedly threatened to sue to prevent the ruling from being implemented. Catholic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, calls it "The Trump Administration's Gag Rule" and an "outrageous assault on the health care of the vulnerable and underserved women and families [that] would choke off their access to affordable contraception critical health information, and preventative health care and strength of America."
Planned Parenthood is slamming it as a "nationwide gag rule" that "has never been implemented in the United States before." In a press release, Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the rule "unconscionable and unethical," even comparing abortion to diabetes: "Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin."
Supporters are hailing the rule as a "victory." Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, said it demonstrates that Trump has "fulfilled yet another campaign promise," adding that Planned Parenthood "shouldn't be getting a dime of federal funds." He said Pelosi's claim that the abortion giant provides healthy care to women is a lie: "There's nothing healthy about killing a baby."
In a press release, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an American political group that supports pro-life women in politics, thanked Trump "for ensuring that the Title X program is truly about funding family planning, not abortion."
Dannenfelser countered the criticism that the ruling will impede family planning:
The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions. The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives almost $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars.
Debates will intensify as players from both sides fully realize and assess what’s at stake for themselves and to those to whom they are beholden. The backstage funding of pro-choice candidates by Planned Parenthood will no doubt forcefully factor into these debates.
Title X was born from President Richard Nixon's belief that unchecked population growth, particularly of poor minorities, represented "a global threat to humankind." Thus Nixon "proposed federal funding of contraception": "I believe, therefore, that we should establish as a national goal the provision of adequate family planning services within the next five years to all those who want them but cannot afford them."
Unknown to most was that Nixon was motivated by a desire to limit the growth of minority populations, including Hispanics and African Americans. A secretly recorded phone conversation revealed the president referring to African American children as "little black bastards."
Nixon quoted as support for his measure John D. Rockefeller — an architect of the American eugenics movement, who, according to historian Edwin Black, "helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz."
Nixon chose Rockefeller to head his Commission on Population Growth in 1969, alongside Charles Westoff, another prominent American eugenicist and member of the American Eugenics Society.
President George H.W. Bush, U.S. Representative during Nixon's tenure, was chief sponsor of the bill. "We need to make population and family planning household words," said Bush. "It is a public health matter."
Nixon signed Title X into law in 1970.
Today, Planned Parenthood receives federal funding from both Title X and Medicaid to the tune of more than half a billion dollars per year. Title X originally set aside only $6 million for family planning in its first year. That number has since increased to more than $300 million a year, with around $60 million going annualy to Planned Parenthood, which also rakes in millions more through Medicaid. All told, the abortion giant receives more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars every year.