The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services proposed a new rule on Friday to update federal regulations to ensure compliance with the Title X family planning grant program’s prohibition on using taxpayers’ money to kill unborn babies as a method of family planning.
Facilities that perform abortions as family planning or provide abortion referrals are barred from receiving funds under this program. Although facilities that receive these grants may continue abortion counseling, they’re no longer required to counsel under the proposed rule.
The new regulation is similar to a rule President Ronald Reagan implemented that requires a “bright line” of physical and financial separation between Title X funding and facilities that kill unborn babies. In theory, a particular Planned Parenthood location could still receive taxpayers’ money if they didn’t perform abortions or provide referrals at that location.
Bill Clinton reversed the Reagan-era regulation. George W. Bush didn’t reinstate it, and Barack Obama banned states from defunding abortion providers. Now President Donald Trump seeks to prevent abortion providers from using part of American taxpayers’ income to snuff out life in the womb.
The new regulation would also strengthen reporting requirements for victims of rape, sexual assault, or incest.
BREAKING: #PlannedParenthood poised to lose 2nd largest source of tax funding ($50 – $60 MILLION a year) as Trump Admin set to announce new #ProtectLife rule stopping Title X tax dollars going to orgs that perform or promote abortionhttps://t.co/sPoL75H4nc #ProLife #NoGagRule pic.twitter.com/Xj6gbt20Nz
— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) May 18, 2018
From the Hill:
The regulations were sent Thursday to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which must review all agency regulations. It’s not clear when the review will be finished, but the process can often take months. Once approved, the regulations would be published and open for a public comment period.
Conservative and anti-abortion groups have increased pressure on the administration in recent weeks to reform the Title X program as a way to cut away at funding for Planned Parenthood.
This month, hundreds of congressional Republicans, and about 80 anti-abortion groups, sent letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar demanding the changes.