House Democrats seek to protect Planned Parenthood from Trump's funding cuts

House Democrats seek to protect Planned Parenthood from Trump's funding cuts
© Getty

House Democrats are seeking to block the Trump administration from defunding Planned Parenthood and banning abortion referrals at family planning clinics.

In a draft spending bill released Monday, Democrats outlined a plan to “protect” the Title X Family Planning Program from changes sought by the administration.


The proposal could tee up a brutal battle between the Republican-controlled Senate and House Democrats over one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE's main policy priorities. 

“We’re going to keep the administration from trying to shut the doors of Planned Parenthood, which they’ve been trying to do since day one,” said Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelCharlize Theron: We didn't want the politics to overshadow 'Bombshell' Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Impeachment inquiry overshadows Trump at UN | Veterans push VA to follow through on reforms | Iranian leader open to changes in nuke deal MORE (D-Fla.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Title X grants are awarded to clinics across the nation to provide contraception and other reproductive health services to low-income women. Under the Democrats’ draft spending bill, the program would receive $400 million, an increase of $114 million.

But the Trump administration is pursuing several changes to the program, including banning abortion providers from receiving the funds, although federal funds have long been banned from covering the procedure.

Clinics would also have to be “financially” separate from abortion providers to receive the grants. 

Conservatives have long pushed for these changes as a way to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which serves about 40 percent of Title X patients.

The changes would also block clinics receiving these grants from referring women for abortions and would lift a requirement for providers to tell women that abortion is an option to terminate pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood has said it will not participate in the Title X program if the changes are allowed to go in effect. 

The changes were slated to go in effect May 3, but have since been blocked by two federal judges while litigation is ongoing.