President Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood

Friday, 23 December 2016

While politicos and people around the world prepare for President-elect Trump’s “First 100 Days” in office, a recent action by President Obama is a stark reminder to remain vigilant of a president’s final days in the Oval Office. 

On Dec. 14, President Obama’s administration finalized a rule that would prohibit states from defunding Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.

Three months ago, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed a rule concerning its Title X Family Planning Program that was enacted in 1970. Title X is intended “to provide family planning and related preventive health services” to low-income and uninsured individuals. Among the types of services included in Title X are contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening. Under Title X, states receive grant money from the federal government. In turn, states then distribute the grant money to qualified subrecipients.

In recent years, especially in response to David Daleiden’s exposé on Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the profitable sale of the fetal tissue of aborted unborn babies, states were placing priorities and limitations on subrecipients. For example, in Tennessee, Title X funds are distributed to community health centers and other providers prior to dispersing funds to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities. This is similarly done by our neighbor to the south, Kansas.

As the DHHS explains on its website announcing the finalization of the rule, “[t]he final rule clarifies the Title X program regulations by adding that no grant recipient [states] making subawards for the provision of services as part of its Title X project may prohibit an entity from participating for reasons other than its ability to provide Title X services.”

The rule will take effect Jan. 18, 2017. 

As Steven Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, stated: “The Obama administration, even in its waning hours, has chosen to put Planned Parenthood’s Big Abortion agenda ahead of women’s health and the right of states to decide how best to prioritize public health funding so that patients and the most comprehensive health providers come first.” 

Or, in the words of Chuck Donovan, president of the Charles Lozier Institute which is the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List: “The rule assists a handful of vendors the administration prefers, at the expense of tens of thousands of patients.”

Ultimately, the problem with this finalized rule is President Obama and his administration’s exaltation and worship of the contraceptive mentality, which has as its safety net the need for abortion. Rather than permit states to justifiably focus their federal funds on entities, like community health centers, that provide comprehensive health services, President Obama and his administration prioritize ideology ahead of serving the real health care interests of low-income and uninsured patients. This, in turn, points to the grasp that the “culture of death” and “throwaway culture” continues to hold on our nation and public policy.

There does remain an opportunity for hope. The policy could be repealed. Repeal may occur through another rule-making process or a joint resolution of disapproval by the House and Senate, with the president’s approval, within 60 working days of Congress. Either task would be formidable, but an important step in providing states the discretion to maintain control in how they utilize their Title X funding and, if they so desire, prevent entities, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving funds based on their involvement with the evil of abortion.

With the incoming Congress and president, there will be work to do to ensure that our country is one that values and respects human dignity by creating a culture of life and a civilization of love. Never forget that the voice and values of people—like you and me—remains important in steering our country in such a direction.