President Trump is looking to revisit a key campaign promise he made to his base in cutting funding from abortion services giant, Planned Parenthood.
An announcement is expected later today, where Trump will say that his administration is no longer allowing health service providers who accept federal funding from mentioning or performing abortions.
HAPPENING TODAY: President Trump expected to announce cuts to Planned Parenthood funding pic.twitter.com/luNmvFKN2d
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 18, 2018
The Trump administration is expected to announce Friday that it will dramatically change the federal family planning program to prohibit health care providers who accept the funds from mentioning abortion and defund Planned Parenthood.
The changes to the Title X program —which are expected to be announced in new regulations — would mark the Trump administration’s latest win for social conservatives who are looking to prohibit access to abortion.
Health care providers who accept Title X funding would be banned from mentioning abortion to their patients and would not be allowed to perform abortions — regardless of the funding source — at the same facilities that provide Title X services.
According to the report, the change to Title X would cut up to $50 million to $60 million to Planned Parenthood in federal funding.
Reports coming out that Trump could announce that he will be defunding Planned Parenthood. ABORTION IS MURDER.
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) May 18, 2018
The massive cuts are expected to be challenged in the courts, though historical precedent seems to side with the Trump administration:
A legal challenge is certain. Title X grantees including Planned Parenthood have already sued over previous administration changes to the program that put a greater focus on natural family planning versus access to all FDA-approved forms of contraception.
But there is legal precedent for the Trump administration actions. The Reagan administration imposed similar Title X changes that went all the way to the Supreme Court, where they were upheld. The changes were never implemented, though: repeated delays lasted until the Clinton administration ended them permanently.
The rule change will be hailed as a major win for conservatives, who weren’t able to get defunding through Congress. Anti-abortion lawmakers tried to do so as part of last year’s Obamacare repeal effort but were unsuccessful. Dozens of Republicans wrote to administration officials last month calling for the abortion regulations.
“It’s actually the president outpacing Congress on what we should be doing. No taxpayer dollars should go to an organization that either conducts or promotes abortion,” Republican Congressman Steve King said, per Politico.
While the elimination of the annual funding is being praised by conservatives, it was not too long ago that the president signed into law an omnibus bill which allocated $500 million to Planned Parenthood.
Yes, Trump is cutting Planned Parenthood funding, and should be praised for doing so. However, it’s only about a tenth of the $500 million in funding he just gave them in the omnibus last month. It’s a positive step, yes, but this is not keeping a promise. This is a first step.
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) May 18, 2018
Here’s even more, per the Weekly Standard:
The 1970 law establishing Title X states: “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” But in the 1970s and 1980s, the law was interpreted to allow Title X programs to refer patients for abortions, be co-located with abortion clinics, and lobby for pro-abortion policies—so long as federal dollars did not directly fund abortions. In 1988, President Reagan’s secretary of Health and Human Services issued regulations to end these practices that blurred the line between funding contraception and promoting abortion.
The 1988 Reagan regulation was immediately challenged in court and never enforced, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in the case Rust v. Sullivan. By the time abortionists might have actually lost their Title X funds, however, Bill Clinton took office and killed the Reagan regulation, a policy that has remained in effect to this day. This anti-abortion regulation wasn’t reinstated by the George W. Bush administration.
“Unlike the Reagan regulation, the proposal will not prohibit counseling for clients about abortion, but neither will it include the current, potentially illegal mandate that projects must counsel and refer for abortion,” a Trump administration official tells TWS. “This proposal does not necessarily defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they’re willing to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning, which is required by the Title X law. Any grantees that perform, support, or refer for abortion have a choice – disentangle themselves from abortion or fund their activities with privately raised funds.”
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 18, 2018