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HHS Proposal Seeks to Prevent States from Defunding Abortion Clinics

HHS Proposal Seeks to Prevent States from Defunding Abortion Clinics
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Last week, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new proposal that will make it impossible for some states to defund abortion providers.  

Title X (part of the US Public Helath Service Act) is a federal program enacted in 1970 to provide family planning services. Under the new HHS rule, states receiving this funding would be unable to exclude eligible funding recipients “for reasons unrelated to its ability to provide services effectively.” 

The word “reasons” in this instance refers to abortion services.

HHS notes that since 2011, “13 states have taken actions to restrict participation by certain types of providers as sub-recipients in the Title X program based on factors unrelated to the providers’ ability to provide the services required.” 

The department claims these actions have “led to [a] disruption of services or reduction of services” which in turn has caused “harmful effects on access to family planning services and is linked with increased pregnancy rates that are not in line with population-wide trends.”

Reduced access to abortion clinics will obviously lead to increased rates of pregnancy, but HHS talks about pregnancy like it’s a disease.

HHS goes on to explain that the exclusion of specific clinics and providers causes “reduced use of highly effective methods of contraception and corresponding increase in rates of childbirth among populations that rely on federally supported care.” 

This argument fails to hold up considering the fact that HHS is arguing for more providers to be included in Title X – which also operates through federal funding. 

“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” states Representative Diane Black (R-TN). “We’ve known all along that the Obama Administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry.” 

Black calls the new rule “shady” and plans to write a “letter expressing the deep concerns of Members of Congress on this proposal.” But she knows a simple letter won’t be enough. “We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider.” 

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