WASHINGTON (CNS) – President Donald Trump signed a bill into law April 13 that allows states to redirect Title X family planning funding away from clinics that perform abortions and to community clinics that provide comprehensive health care for women and children.
The new law overrides a rule change made in the last days of the Obama administration that prevented states from doing so.
“The clear purpose of this Title X rule change was to benefit abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“Congress has done well to reverse this very bad public policy, and to restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, cast a tiebreaking vote allowing passage of a joint resolution to block the Obama-era regulation that went into effect Jan. 18, just two days before Trump was sworn in.
Title X of the Public Health Services Act was passed by Congress in 1970 to control population growth by distributing contraceptives to low-income families. Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding. Planned Parenthood also is the nation’s largest abortion network – performing over a third of all abortions in the U.S. It receives more than half a billion dollars in federal funding each year.
Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funding for abortion already is prohibited, but federal family planning funds were allowed to go to clinics and facilities for other health services. States had been acting on their own to prohibit Title X funding to agencies performing abortions, until the Obama regulation.
The joint resolution is one of a series of bills Congress has passed under the Congressional Review Act.