Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MN
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)

Planned Parenthood has refused to comply with President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule and officially withdrew yesterday from the Title X Family Planning Program. This withdrawal follows a letter that Planned Parenthood’s lawyers sent to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week indicating that it would withdraw barring emergency judicial relief. The Ninth Circuit declined to hear Planned Parenthood’s request for an emergency injunction. 

The Trump administration’s rule ensures compliance with the statutory prohibition against using federal funds for programs where abortion is a method of family planning, which means the defunding of Planned Parenthood by as much as $60 million in Title X funds annually. It does not reduce Title X funds; it redirects them to providers that do not perform or promote abortions.

Title X prohibits Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That means housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Existing grantees were given 60 days to come into compliance with the prohibition on abortion referrals and the requirement to separate financially from abortion activities, and one year to comply with the requirement for physical separation from abortion activities.

Title X funds are supposed to be used to help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it has indirectly funded Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.

“Planned Parenthood’s refusal to comply with the Protect Life Rule reinforces that its true mission is aborting innocent babies,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Protect Life Rule does not reduce family planning funding by a single dollar. It simply directs taxpayer funding to family planning providers who stay out of the abortion business. No one should be forced to violate their conscience and sincerely-held religious beliefs, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund any money toward the killing of unborn babies.”

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