Planned Parenthood out of Title X program - thank you, Mr. President
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2019-08-21

After decades of rhetoric and unfulfilled promises by prior administrations, on Monday of this week, the Trump administration got Planned Parenthood to drop out of the Title X program. Title X is a $287 million federal family planning program, begun in 1970, that was providing Planned Parenthood with approximately $60 million a year.

The Trump administration added, with no help from Congress, what it called a Protect Life Rule to the Title X program. The “new” rule was essentially the same rules that the United States Supreme Court found to be constitutional in 1991 (Rust v. Sullivan). Despite that, Planned Parenthood has been vehemently fighting against the rule and has a lawsuit in the courts to stop them from being implemented. Planned Parenthood won some lower court rulings but ran into a roadblock when a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the administration could implement the Protect Life Rule. Planned Parenthood asked for an “en banc” review and, once again, the Ninth Circuit voted against it. PP tried a third time and failed.

The result: The Trump administration set an August 19 deadline for all Title X recipients to document that they would obey the new rules, which forbade the recipients from referring for or performing most abortions. Planned Parenthood showed it was more concerned with killing babies than helping poor women and left the program.

Planned Parenthood tried to stay in the program until its original lawsuit was decided. The Washington Post article from last Wednesday actually tells the whole story. Here are the pertinent excerpts: “In a letter to United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Planned Parenthood attorneys said its affiliates had planned to refuse federal funds—but not drop out of the program.” The Trump administration wasn’t going to be hoodwinked, and Health and Human Services Deputy Assistant Secretary Diane Foley said Planned Parenthood’s proposal to remain in the program without agreeing to the new rules was ‘inconsistent.” This led Planned Parenthood attorney Alan E. Schoenfeld to write that as a result and with “deep regret,” the grantees “now have no option but to withdraw from the Title X program.”

The Trump administration has accomplished what no other administration has been able to do since the Title X program began in 1970. It made Planned Parenthood choose between abortion and Title X funding. Predictably, Planned Parenthood showed its true colors and chose killing babies.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.