On Monday, Planned Parenthood announced it would withdraw from the federal Title X family planning program, voluntarily sacrificing about $60 million annually. The move follows massive defeats in a long-term legal battle against a Trump administration rule forbidding Title X recipients from referring patients directly for abortion.
All seven Planned Parenthood facilities that receive direct grants from Title X for contraception and other family planning services and the hundreds of “sub” grantees that receive funding through a third party will withdraw from the program, Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, announced in a call with reporters.
Title X recipients had until Monday to explain how they would comply with the new rules concerning abortion. Planned Parenthood characterized this as a “direct attack” on the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Today, the Trump admin is forcing us out of the Title X program — our nation’s program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40% of patients. This is a *direct attack* on Planned Parenthood and on our health and rights, and we will not stand for it,” the organization tweeted.
Indeed, clinics connected with Planned Parenthood serve about 1.5 million patients, about 40 percent of the women served by Title X. In order to meet those needs, Johnson announced that Planned Parenthood would use fundraising rather than using taxpayer dollars.
“What we are committed to doing is using some emergency funds to help our patients get through, but it will have an impact,” the acting president said. “Using fundraising—essentially charity for what should be a state responsibility—it’s like holding an umbrella during a tsunami.”
Yet Planned Parenthood had no one to blame but themselves for this loss of funding, as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) explained. “Some [Title X] grantees are now blaming the government for their own actions … and they are abandoning their obligations to serve their patients under the program,” Mia Palmieri Heck, an HHS spokeswoman, said in a statement.
After the Title X rule was announced, Planned Parenthood sued the administration, aiming to block the rule. Last week, however, a notoriously liberal federal appeals court in California allowed the rule to go forward. Planned Parenthood vowed to keep fighting in court, but it is likely the abortion provider will find no relief unless Trump is defeated in 2020 or a Democrat becomes president in 2025.
While this represents a victory for pro-life Americans who do not wish their tax dollars to fund the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood still receives millions in Medicaid funding every year. A Heritage Foundation report last year found that Planned Parenthood received $1.2 billion in Medicaid funding from 2013 to 2015.
The organization insists that abortion accounts for only 3 percent of its services, but that is a misleading statistic. In recent years, all services besides abortion have gone down, while abortion continues to increase.
In January 2017, President Trump sent Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to meet with Planned Parenthood’s then-CEO Cecile Richards. As Richards explained in her memoir, “The main issue, he explained, was abortion. If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions. He described his ideal outcome: a national headline reading ‘Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.'”
Richards said Kushner told her to “move fast.” She declined the offer, which she said “felt almost like a bribe.”
Yet is it really that hard to believe that taxpayer funding should be withdrawn from organizations that kill defenseless human babies in the womb? Modern science has revealed that each unborn baby has unique human DNA from the moment of conception, and babies are being born at increasingly younger ages. Just last month, a baby boy in Iowa was born at 23 weeks gestation — less than four months into pregnancy. Many abortion activists would call him a clump of cells, but he survived outside the womb, weighing a mere 13 ounces.
The pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List called out Planned Parenthood’s lies on the Title X regulations.
“You’re lying, Planned Parenthood. President Trump gave you two options: 1. Stop killing unborn babies and continue to receive Title X tax dollars 2. Continue killing unborn babies and no longer receive Title X tax dollars,” SBA List wrote. “You’re an abortion business. So you chose option 2.”
You're lying, Planned Parenthood. President Trump gave you two options:1. Stop killing unborn babies and continue to…
In recent years, the nation’s largest abortion provider has attempted to rebrand itself as a health care organization. Just last month, however, Planned Parenthood ousted its new president, Dr.Leana Wen. Wen said she wanted to focus on health and suggested that the powers that be preferred political activism. Yet it also seems she bucked the trend on the hot-button transgender issue.
If Planned Parenthood insists it cares about patients and health care first, this Title X news gives the lie to that claim. Planned Parenthood is, first, foremost, and always, about abortion.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.