By JACK CROWE, August 19, 2019 3:01 PM
Planned Parenthood will refuse all Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration’s restrictions governing the discussion of abortion at clinics that participate in the program, the group announced Monday.
Planned Parenthood decided to abandon Title X, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of its overall federal funding each year, in response to a Trump administration rule barring clinics that participate in the program from referring women to abortion providers.
“When you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we not agree to be in the program. But to be clear we’re doing that because we’re being forced out,” the group said in a Monday statement. “Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients. The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it.”
Prior to its withdrawal, Planned Parenthood was receiving $60 million of the $286 million allocated annually through Title X. The organization will continue to receive roughly $500 million in annual Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government.
A federal appeals court ruled in July that the Trump administration’s rule change could take effect while a lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood and other groups in February, runs its course. The Department of Health and Human Services then gave Planned Parenthood until August 19 to submit a plan demonstrating that it would make “good faith efforts” to comply with the new rule. Planned Parenthood requested a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have delayed the rule-implementation deadline its legal challenge was resolved, but the court rejected that request.
The March for Life, a leading pro-life advocacy group, suggested that Planned Parenthood’s decision confirmed the group prioritizes abortion over women’s health care. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood fired its president, Leana Wen, after less than a year, for being insufficiently zealous in her defense of abortion rights.
“Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, today made a choice not to separate its abortion operation from Title X services, and in doing [so] declined Title X funding, which makes up approximately four percent of their annual budget,” said March for Life president Jeanne Mancini. “Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion. Leana Wen’s recent firing and Planned Parenthood’s decision today doubles down on their ultimate goal, which is political abortion advocacy, not healthcare.”