(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump made good on a campaign promise Friday to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The administration announced Friday that it is changing Title X family planning rules to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to pay for abortions.
“The Administration’s announcement today of a proposed rule on Title X family planning program fulfills President Donald J. Trump’s promise to continue to improve women’s health and ensure that Federal funds are not used to fund the abortion industry in violation of the law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“The President is pleased to support the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which would update the regulations governing the Title X family planning program. This important proposal would ensure compliance with the program’s existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning,” she said.
“The new proposed rule would not cut funds from the Title X program. Instead, it would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions. Contrary to recent media reports, HHS’s proposal does not include the so-called ‘gag rule’ on counseling about abortion that was part of the Reagan Administration’s Title X rule,” Sanders added.
In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood said that it did 321,384 abortions in fiscal 2016 and that in the year that ended on June 30, 2017 it received $543,700,000 in “government health services reimbursements and grants.”
Pro-life groups applauded the administration’s decision.
“Today marks an important step in protecting the lives of unborn children in the United States. The Knights of Columbus applauds the Trump administration’s announcement that it intends to end the use of Title X taxpayer funding for centers that perform, support or refer abortions,” the Knights of Columbus said in a statement.
The group cited a Marist poll that shows 76 percent of Americans want to limit abortion to “at most – the first three months of pregnancy.”
“Americans should not be forced to have their tax dollars fund abortion. In fact, Knights of Columbus Marist polling conducted earlier this year found that most Americans believe abortion is morally wrong and six in 10 want an end to its funding with tax dollars,” the group stated.
“There is a consensus that crosses party lines. Of those polled, four in 10 who identify as pro-choice and more than four in 10 Democrats—along with the overwhelming majority of Republicans—want to see an end to taxpayer funding of abortion,” it added.
The Catholic Association said the Title X family planning funding change should please people on both sides of the aisle.
“Americans don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for abortions, a fact polling consistently confirms. In redirecting Title X funding to nonviolent women’s health centers, the government ensures that the needs of low income women will continue to be served without lining the pockets of corporate abortion giant, Planned Parenthood,” Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said in a statement.
“Redirecting Title X funds, meant to provide family planning services to low income women, away from organizations that perform or refer for abortions, is sure to please taxpayers on both sides of the aisle,” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy advisor for The Catholic Association, said in a statement.
“Americans are well aware that the $50-60 million pouring into Planned Parenthood annually through Title X grants are subsidizing its main business, abortion, and a majority don’t want their hard-earned money used to pay for abortions or to prop up a rich corporation’s already healthy bottom line,” Christie said.
“Federally funded Community Health Centers, which deliver all sorts of needed services to socioeconomically disadvantaged women (including mammograms and prenatal care) are the appropriate recipients of these funds,” Christie added.
“Today’s new Title X regulations that bar the abortion providers, most notably Planned Parenthood, from dipping into Title X family planning funds restores the program to its intended purpose: family planning for low income women,” Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor for the Catholic Association Foundation, said in a statement.
“Abortion has never been part of America’s definition of healthcare and millions of American women and their families will benefit when these public funds are redirected to comprehensive community healthcare centers. Planned Parenthood’s smoke and mirror accounting has been allowed to divert the 50-60 million dollars it receives yearly in taxpayer funds away from authentic healthcare for low income women for far too long,” Picciotti-Bayer said.