America Comment

Good news for low-income, uninsured mothers


Title X funding is now redirected to those clinics where abortion isn't a woman's only choice

Last night, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that clinics referring mothers for abortion services will no longer be able to receive Title X funding, effective immediately.

In 1970, Title X was enacted as part of the Public Health Services Act providing Health and Human Services funds to assist eligible low-income and uninsured applicants with family planning. From the beginning, Title X explicitly excluded funding for programs that consider abortion to be a method of family planning.

One might think, then, that Planned Parenthood would be ineligible to receive this funding. Yet today, as one of the largest abortion providers in the country, they receive about $60 million a year from the Title X program. Indeed, from the beginning, Planned Parenthood has squeezed as many dollars from this federal subsidy as possible under the pretense that their counseling includes a whole range of contraceptive methods.

The Reagan Administration sought to restrict access to these funds by reinforcing the abortion ban for those receiving Title X funding by insisting they must physically and financially separate their abortion and reproductive services, and this was upheld by the Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan in 1991. But during the Clinton Administration, the regulations were revised to allow for abortion referral as one of the acceptable methods. As a result, about 25 per cent of this federal funding goes directly to Planned Parenthood.

Last June, the Trump Administration introduced a new Protect Life Rule to change that, effectively returning to the pre-Clinton requirements, and so Planned Parenthood worked with several states to issue a preliminary injunction to block the rule. But last Thursday, in a 7-4 decision, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the new rule can go into effect. By March of next year, no clinic that performs abortions will be eligible for Title X funding.

You can almost hear the sound of $60 million dollars being vacuumed out of Planned Parenthood’s annual budget. Even better for millions of women and their babies, Title X funding was not reduced at all — only redirected to those clinics where abortion isn’t a woman’s only choice, where women can see licensed medical professionals, where women can see their babies through free ultrasound services, and where they can actually receive the family planning counseling that Title X had actually intended from the beginning. It’s hard to know which is better news: all that money going out of Planned Parenthood’s accounts, or all that money going into the thousands of Pro-Life Pregnancy Health Centers.

Moloch will probably look for new ways to circumvent the new Protect Life Rule, but for now, the “white glove” Nazis, as Pope Francis has called abortion providers, are poorer, and Schindler’s pro-life pregnancy clinics are a bit richer. Most importantly of all, more low-income and uninsured mothers — overwhelmingly minorities — will get the most important gift of all: the child in their womb.