As written and passed into law Title X specifically prohibits “taxpayer support for abortion as a method of family planning.”
- 1008 – The Prohibition of Abortion
None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.
But clinics like those run by Planned Parenthood, that use the words “family planning” as cover for pushing their abortion services get millions from Title X annually depite the prohibition.
Mr. Trump has begun the process of correcting that illegal activity.
Yuval Levin, writing at NRO, reports that,
The Trump administration’s newly proposed rule, announced today, to make it harder to use federal Title X dollars to promote and provide abortion is a modest but significant and important step. The administration should be commended for advancing this important pro-life measure, and also for doing it in a way designed to maximize its actual effects while reducing (a little) the potential for political blowback and legal vulnerability around the move.
Levin patiently walks us through the history so make time to read what I won’t rehash here, then explains why he thinks this turn at enforcing Title X Section 1008 is more likely to succeed.
“…as it now stands, it would reinstate the Reagan Administration language prohibiting co-location and instituting similar “program integrity” protections, as well as the restriction on direct referrals for abortion from Title X clinics. But it does not include a prohibition on counseling for abortion. This means it can’t really be described as a “gag rule” and that opponents will need instead to make the case that taxpayers should in fact be supporting clinics that share space and resources with or provide direct referrals to abortion clinics and yet that somehow this doesn’t violate the legal prohibition on Title X dollars supporting the practice of abortion.”
I’d like to think this will lead to some interesting debate about taxpayer money, abortion funding, the meaning of fungible, or as noted – the song and dance required to justify why taxpayers should pay for abortions. But having been cornered, the party of death will default to incoherent rants about women’s health and how Trump once said something about grabbing “p***y” by which we do not mean some purple-haired weirdo shouting at passersby in a vagina costume.
Of course, it’s not the big win. According to Levin’s reporting, only a small percentage of federal money to Planned Parenthood travels through TitleX. Most of that finds its way through Medicaid. But it is something of a beginning and based entirely on enforcing the law it would pull back about 50 million give or take from clinics that perform abortions in the same space as their “family planning” activities.
Congress is welcome to rewrite that, by the way, or write a new law if it disagrees.
But I expect that shouting, teeth gnashing, another women’s march, some name-calling, and hyperbolic declarations are more the order of the day.
Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, described the policy as “outrageous” and “dangerous.” The rule, she said in a Thursday statement, is “designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood. This is designed to force doctors and nurses to lie to their patients. It would have devastating consequences across this country.”
So, ignore the law as written and passed by Congress and just give you what you want without following the constitutional process of lawmaking? Sure, let’s go with that because I want to see how many so-called lawmakers agree almost as much as I want to see Democrats insist that taxpayers should pay for abortions.