August 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion vendor, announced today it has officially dropped out of the Title X program and will forgo nearly $60 million in taxpayer funding rather than comply with a Trump administration rule requiring that it separate its abortions from the rest of its operations.
President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule requires recipients of Title X federal family planning money to be physically and financially separate from abortion operations and prevents them from referring for abortions. The rule still “permits, but does not require, nondirective counseling on abortion by doctors or advanced practice providers,” according to a fact sheet from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Today, we are announcing that due to an unethical and dangerous gag rule, the Trump administration has forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X — the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care,” Planned Parenthood acting president Alexis McGill Johnson said in a media call today. “Our affiliate grantees will be submitting letters saying as much to HHS today.”
“We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients,” said McGill Johnson. The regulations still allow Title X recipients to discuss abortion; they just can’t refer patients to abortion centers.
McGill Johnson then suggested that the president and vice president would actually be making decisions for patients under Protect Life Rule: “Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.”
“Today, Planned Parenthood showed its true colors by prioritizing abortion over family planning, refusing to comply with the Protect Life Rule and dropping out of the Title X program,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “President Trump’s Title X Protect Life Rule is a huge victory for the majority of taxpayers who reject taxpayer funding of abortion. The Protect Life Rule does not reduce family planning funding by a single dollar; it simply directs taxpayer funding to family planning providers who stay out of the abortion business. Women have the most to gain from this news. With community health alternatives vastly outnumbering Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide, on average, these health centers would see an additional two clients per week. This is a huge win for women’s health.”
Planned Parenthood blasts controversial pro-life group that accepted Title X money
McGill Johnson proceeded to trash the Obria Group, a network of pro-life clinics, which has received $5.1 million in Title X funds from the Trump administration but caused confusion for doing so because of the pro-contraception strings attached to that money. The money will be used over a span of three years.
McGill Johnson insisted that Obria “does not provide” contraception, even though agreeing to provide or refer for it is necessary to receive those funds.
As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, Title X grantees agree to “assist in the establishment and operation of voluntary family planning projects which provide a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and related preventive health services that include natural family planning methods, infertility services, and services for adolescents” including “highly effective contraceptive methods.”
Obria has said it will use the federal funds to provide services “such as reproductive planning, preventative services, and training in fertility awareness–based methods (natural family planning).” It did not define “preventative services.”
The group maintains that it provides neither contraception nor referrals for it.
Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson previously told LifeSiteNews that Obria wouldn’t have been able to receive the money unless it was dispensing or referring for contraception.
Another pro-life women’s health clinic, Sancta Familia in Omaha, Nebraska was initially awarded Title X funding but turned it down because it required either a range of contraception or referrals for it.
Sancta Familia’s Teresa Kenney told LifeSiteNews that they had qualified for Title X because they did offer one form of family planning: Natural Family Planning.
“When the state came back with a contract we had to sign, there were contingencies,” she said.
Because Sancta Familia offered only NFP services, they were required to make referrals for artificial contraception. This they refused to do.
“We don’t believe contraceptives are good for women’s health, so we wouldn’t refer them,” Kenney told LifeSiteNews.
Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson insisted that Obria doesn’t provide contraception, although she didn’t deny that the group may be referring patients elsewhere for it:
The Trump administration would have you believe that places like Obria — a network of anti-abortion counseling centers which received a $1.7 million Title X grant this year — can provide the same level of care as Planned Parenthood health centers.
But do you know what Obria does not provide? Contraception.
This means patients who go to Obria seeking birth control will not be able to access methods like the pill, an IUD, and emergency contraception.
McGill Johnson continued by repeating abortion lobby talking points:
Wait times for appointments will skyrocket, and people will delay or go without care.
We already see women having to drive impossible distances to access abortion.
This gag rule could mean that we now will see women driving hundreds of miles just to find a provider who can help them access birth control such as an IUD.
She then implored the U.S. Senate to follow the lead of the U.S. House by passing a spending bill blocking the new rule from going into effect, something unlikely, given the Senate’s narrow pro-life majority.
Today, And Then There Were None (ATTWN), a group that helps former abortion workers, announced that a jury had awarded an ex–Planned Parenthood director $3 million in damages after she was wrongly fired for blowing the whistle on various wrongdoings. Mayra Rodriguez had directed three Arizona Planned Parenthoods and won the abortion company’s Employee of the Year award but was sacked after she reported an abortionist’s illegal conduct and high complication rates, falsification of affidavits and patient records, incomplete abortions, and failure to report statutory rape.
Earlier this summer, Planned Parenthood fired Dr. Leana Wen as its president after just eight months because she wanted the group to focus on more than just abortion.