By Dave Andrusko
Back in September NRL News Today posted stories about a proposed Health & Human Services(HHS) rule that would nullify state eligibility thresholds that prioritizes Title X grants to full-service medical facilities.
On Wednesday, the Obama Administration finalized the rule which will take effect two days before pro-life President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January.
The effect, at least temporarily, is that states cannot bar Title X family planning money from going to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s premier abortion provider. In gratitude, PPFA President Cecile Richards tweeted the following:
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tn.) was among the first to criticize the proposed rule and led more than 100 members of Congress on a bipartisan, bicameral letter opposing the rule earlier this year. In a statement issued yesterday, Rep. Black said
“With this rule, we see an administration that has become unglued at the knowledge of the impending pro-life sea change in Washington, DC. President Obama knows that hope is rising for the innocent victims of Planned Parenthood’s brutality and the big abortion industry’s days of taxpayer-funded windfalls are numbered. We should not be surprised that his administration would lash out with this eleventh hour power grab on the way out the door, but I am certain this rule will not stand for long.
Come next year, our pro-life majorities in Congress will be positioned to work with President-Elect Trump and pro-life nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, to not only roll back this latest overreach but also to enact new legal protections for these most vulnerable members of our society. The Obama Administration will not have the last word. With this new year comes renewed opportunity to fight for the dignity of every unborn child, the wellbeing of every struggling mother, and the conscience rights of every American taxpayer.”
Back in September, in an op-ed written for Fox News, Rep. Black explained how Title X worked in her home state of Tennessee:
First established in 1970, HHS administers a grant program known as “Title X” that provides funding to states for family planning services. In recent years, my home state of Tennessee adopted a system whereby these dollars would be doled out by the state to county health departments who would then determine appropriate subrecipients.
All 95 counties in my state have identified community health centers and other providers aside from Planned Parenthood who meet all applicable eligibility criteria to receive this funding, effectively cutting off Planned Parenthood’s access to Title X funds in Tennessee while protecting the needs of underserved women and families.
In recent years, other states have enacted or tried to enact similar measures. This proposed rule from HHS would undermine such state laws, dictating exactly how states must choose recipients for these grants.
But now, Rep. Black wrote back in September, “in what may be Richards’ final act as shadow White House abortion czar
“the Obama administration has quietly issued a proposed rule that would strip states of the right to steer federal dollars away from Planned Parenthood and towards more trusted community health centers that provide a broader range of services to women. It is a transparently political ploy that, if enacted, promises to be a boon for the scandal-ridden abortion provider and a blow to the conscience rights of millions of pro-life American taxpayers.”
According to the New York Times, the 30-page rule was posted yesterday morning on the Federal Register, the government’s official journal. The effective date is January 18, 2017, “30 days after the rule appears in the paper version of the Register.”
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation, issued her own statement which included the candid admission, “This fight is not over.”