The sky is falling at Planned Parenthood.
Not because two young mothers have been killed in botched abortions in recent years.
Not because a top medical official of the abortion giant was caught on tape describing how she alters an abortion procedure to ensure the baby’s valuable organs are preserved for sale.
No, the sky is falling because, thanks to President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE, coffers will be missing about $60 million in federal Title X funding if the abortion seller is not willing to relocate its centers away from the clinics where the rest of Planned Parenthood’s services are offered.
Title X of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) was passed by Congress in 1970 — three years before Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortion across the county — to establish a federal family planning program. A section of Title X declared that no federal funds "shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning."
In 1988, the Reagan administration issued regulations that prohibited Title X projects from engaging in counseling concerning, referrals for, and activities advocating abortion as a method of family planning. Family planning providers were required to maintain independence from the prohibited abortion activities by the use of separate facilities, personnel, and accounting records.
Pro-abortion advocates sued, as they always do. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court as Rust v. Sullivan. On May 23, 1991, the court held that the Title X legislation “plainly allows” the Reagan regulations.
From the decision:
“The regulations do not force the Title X grantee, or its employees, to give up abortion-related speech; they merely require that such activities be kept separate and distinct from the activities of the Title X project.”
“The regulations do not violate a woman's Fifth Amendment right to choose whether to terminate her pregnancy. The Government has no constitutional duty to subsidize an activity merely because it is constitutionally protected, and may validly choose to allocate public funds for medical services relating to childbirth but not to abortion.”
But even with the SCOTUS seal of approval, the Reagan regulations were never actually enforced.
As soon as Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonVirginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE took office in 1993, he revoked the regulations. Abortion counseling, referral and family planning programs continued to operate out of abortion businesses under former Presidents Bush and Obama. President
Trump aims to change that.
The oft-repeated claim that the federal government does not fund abortions is a lie, and the Clinton rules for Title X demonstrate the depth of the delusion. As the Weekly Standard reported in 2011, the Clinton rules not only allow Title X programs to be operated out of abortion clinics, they allow things like clinic utilities, waiting rooms, and even salaries of employees to be pro-rated between their Title X and abortion uses or activities.
Reporter John McCormack wrote, “Under the Clinton regulation, there's no reason why a doctor who performs abortions half of the day couldn't be paid the other half of the day for prescribing contraception under Title X.”
The overwhelming amount of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding comes from Medicaid reimbursements, but a loss of $60 million in Title X grant money would have to pinch a little. Perhaps the abortion giant could scale back its plans to spend millions defeating pro-life incumbents and candidates and installing their own puppets.
It will be at least several months before the rule will take effect, because HHS must first allow to public comment, respond to that feedback, and issue a final version of the proposal.
In the meantime, Planned Parenthood can decide if it would rather give up doing abortions, or break ground on a new network of centers.
There’s no doubt in my mind which option Cecile Richards’s successor will choose.
Father Frank Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life, which is a Catholic organization focused exclusively on ending abortion.