The Corner

Politics & Policy

Biden Administration Set to Restore Planned Parenthood Funding

An pro-life marcher during the 46th annual March for Life at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., January 18, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The Associated Press reports this morning that President Joe Biden and his administration have begun the process of undoing a Trump-administration rule that had defunded abortion providers through the Title X family planning program.

The AP report claims inaccurately that Biden’s move deals with a “Trump abortion referral ban that caused Planned Parenthood to leave family planning program.”

Similarly, in the wake of the news, the American Medical Association applauded the Biden administration, calling the Trump-administration policy “the Title X ‘gag rule’,” asserting that it “has inappropriately interfered with the patient-physician relationship and jeopardized safe access to reproductive care.”

In reality, the policy, dubbed the Protect Life Rule, required all Title X providers to financially separate their abortion business from the rest of their work, with the aim of preventing taxpayer funding from underwriting abortion. Planned Parenthood declined to financially separate its other business from its provision of abortion — an unsurprising choice, considering that the group makes the bulk of its money from abortion procedures — and therefore voluntarily opted out of Title X.

Early in his presidency, Biden instructed his Department of Health and Human Services to look into undoing this policy, and with former California attorney general Xavier Becerra successfully confirmed to head the department, the wheels are now in motion.

The move will allow abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, to return to the Title X program without financially distinguishing between abortion and other procedures. Under the Protect Life rule, Planned Parenthood forfeited about $60 million annually as the result of leaving the program. That figure is just a small amount of the half a billion that the organization receives from the federal government each year, most of which comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements.

Though the Protect Life rule will no longer be in force, it was a significant pro-life victory while it lasted, and it revealed that Planned Parenthood’s priority isn’t providing a wide range of health care to American women; it is to profit from performing abortions.

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