Bishops Send a Clear Message to US Government, No Funding for Abortion in Family Planning Programs

Call to Action
Today, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops acting together with the Southern Baptists Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Catholic Medical Association sent a clear message to the US Department of Health and Human Services supporting the Agency’s proposal to stop any funds going to abortion facilities through government family planning programs.

Implementation of the “Protect Life Rule” is an important priority for all three organizations.

You can read the letter here.

You can personally support this important interdenominational effort by submitting comments of your own here. And please, share this alert with all your friends.

The deadline for submitting your comments is July 31, 2018.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion purveyors are flooding the Department of Health and Human Services opposing the “Protect Life Rule,” so please support our bishops and take action.

The proposed regulations can be viewed here.

Sample message:

“Most Americans recognize that abortion is not family planning or healthcare and has no place in a taxpayer-funded family planning program. I strongly support the proposed rule on the Title X program because it will help ensure that abortion-related activities are kept separate from this pre-pregnancy family planning program. For too long, Title X has been used to subsidize the abortion industry. We need these regulations in order to draw a bright line between what happens before a pregnancy begins and what happens after a child has been created, as Congress clearly intended.”

Background:

Title X of the Public Health Service Act (Title “Ten”) was created in 1970 as a pre-pregnancy federal family planning program to help poor women limit and space their family size. It was created in the heat of the population control movement, yet even though its authorization expired in 1985, Congress continues to appropriate yearly money.

Embedded in the authorizing law itself is a strict prohibition on its funds being used for abortion demonstrating the intent of Congress that Title X should be completely apart from the controversial and, at that time, still mostly illegal activity of abortion.  In fact, it was argued that Title X was needed in order to reduce the abortion rate.

In spite of this prohibition, the program guidelines governing the early years of the program soon required abortion referrals and allowed abortion providers to perform abortions in the same location, arguably allowing the program to become a direct channel for abortion providers to receive clients as well as federal money for their non-abortion offerings.

To respond to this abuse, President Reagan issued formal regulations in 1987 requiring that Title X service sites be physically and financially separated from abortion centers and not refer or counsel for abortion. These regulations were challenged and successfully defended by the Bush 41 Administration in the US Supreme Court case Rust v. Sullivan of 1991. However, they were rescinded in January of 1993 under President Clinton and replaced by regulations later that year requiring abortion referrals and allowing co-location of Title X clinic sites with abortion sites.

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