By Rep. Chris Smith
These remarks were made during debate in the House of Representatives on H.R. 8373 —the so-called Right to Contraception Act—on July 21, 2022.
Madame Speaker, several pro-abortion policies are embedded in H.R. 8373, including Section 4(b)(1) which states that “health care providers who provide contraceptives” may not be “singled out” through “any limitation or requirement.”
What does that language mean?
Simply put: any federal or state policy that ensures that taxpayer funded family planning clinics are not co-located—under the same roof—with abortion clinics would now be absolutely prohibited if H.R. 8373 is enacted into law.
By way of background, in February of 2019, President Trump promulgated the Protect Life Rule—reestablishing Ronald Reagan’s modest Title X rule that prohibited taxpayer funding of the hundreds of family planning clinics that are co-located with abortion clinics. Any funds denied to abortion clinics were then redirected to other family planning programs.
Created by Congress in 1970, Title X of the Public Health Service Act authorized taxpayer funds to assist “voluntary family planning projects” but made absolutely clear in the statute that Federal funds were prohibited from being spent in “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
As Title X was administered over the years, however, that didn’t happen.
So, President Ronald Reagan issued a rule in 1988 that included physical separation of abortion activities from federally funded family planning clinics.
In response, the abortion industry sued to get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollar subsidies—and they lost. In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan affirmed the constitutionality of the Reagan Title X Rule.
The Trump/Reagan policy—the Protect Life Rule—ended co-location but was overturned by President Biden last October.
A future pro-life president should not be precluded by any law including H.R. 8373 from reestablishing the Protect Life Rule or any similar policy.
Madame Speaker, no one can seriously deny anymore that unborn children are alive, dynamic, precious, a miracle, and defenseless.
Title X was intended to be about family planning—prevention—not the hideous dismemberment, beheading, chemical poisoning, or deliberate starvation and forced expulsion of a defenseless unborn baby. There is nothing benign or compassionate about exterminating an unborn baby girl or boy.