The White House claims that President Donald Trump is keeping a campaign promise to withhold funding from abortion providers including Planned Parenthood in his first budget.

In a fact sheet provided by the White House of Management and Budget says, “(t)he Budget also follows through on a campaign promise and prohibits any funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood. This prohibition applies to all funds in the bill, including Medicaid.”

The budget appendix for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not get that specific, however, as line items just list programs and do not specify particular grantees.

The HHS budget includes almost $286.5 million for the Title X Family Planning funding. It does note in the HHS budget that “amounts provided to said projects under such title shall not be expended for abortions, that all pregnancy counseling shall be nondirective, and that such amounts shall not be expended for any activity (including the publication or distribution of literature) that in any way tends to promote public support or opposition to any legislative proposal or candidate for public office.”

This just reflects the Hyde Amendment that bans taxpayer money to be used for abortions. It does not state that abortion providers can’t receive money.

 

On Monday during a press avail Office of Management and Budget Direct Mick Mulvaney put the ball in Congress’ court. When asked if the budget defunded Planned Parenthood he said, “Yes, because it assumes the American Health Care Act passes and the AHCA in its current form, which is the one we assumed — and that’s making a bunch of assumptions, here — that it assumes that passes and that defunds Planned Parenthood.”

So does President Trump’s budget really defund Planned Parenthood after all? Ultimately it doesn’t matter until Congress acts. President Trump has defunded abortion organizations of taxpayer money sent overseas, but has not issued a similar executive order for domestic spending. So unless Congress defunds them we have to assume, liberal grandstanding aside, they could still receive funding.

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