May 28, 2021

Republican AGs Defend Trump-Era Rule That Prevents Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

  • Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief:

Biden’s HHS Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a rule change that would make it easier for abortion providers to skirt federal law and use taxpayer funds to pay for abortion. Twenty Republican attorneys general have signed a letter protesting the rule change.

The Background:

Because federal law prohibits taxpayer funds from being used for abortion procedures, the Trump administration put a rule in place that forces abortion providers to be physically and financially separate from clinics that receive funds for Title X family planning services. 

This rule was one of Trump’s biggest blows to abortion during his time as President.

But Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing to reverse this rule—this would allow Title X family planning services (such as contraception, cancer screenings, and STD treatments) to be done in clinics that also do abortions. Those clinics would receive federal funding and potentially be in violation of federal law. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra protesting the proposed rule saying that, “Title X reflects a compromise. It funds services that large numbers of Americans support while withholding that funding from services that large numbers oppose. The Proposed Rule tramples that compromise, by intertwining family-planning services with the divisive issue of publicly funded abortions.” 

Yost’s letter was signed by twenty of his Republican colleagues from across the country.

Notable Quotes: 

“Programs which include abortion as a method of family planning are not eligible for funds allocated through this act.” - Congressman John D. Dingell, original sponsor of Title X in 1970

“The [HHS] Department, knowing that it cannot expressly subsidize abortion, plans to do so indirectly by putting Title X services and abortion services in the same place.” - Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

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