Washington D.C., Apr 13, 2017 / 02:03 pm (CNA).- Pro-life leaders applauded President Donald Trump for signing a repeal of what they called President Obama’s “parting gift to the abortion industry.” “Today we thank President Donald Trump for restoring states' freedom to direct taxpayer dollars away from abortion providers in favor of supporting community health centers that deliver comprehensive women’s care, and already outnumber abortion providers 20 to 1,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said Thursday.
In December, President Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that states could not deny federal funds to health clinics simply on the grounds that they provided abortions. The funding program, Title X, consists of “family planning” grants for services like contraception, pregnancy testing, and infertility treatments. Those federal grants, dispersed by the states, had to go to clinics that provided the “family planning” services, HHS said, and could not be denied to any clinic that provided those services.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced H.J. Res. 43 to the U.S. House of Representatives, which nullified the HHS rule. The measure passed the House easily and then passed the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence as the tie-breaking vote. President Trump signed the resolution into law April 13.
Susan B. Anthony List thanked Rep. Black and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), saying they “led this effort in Congress.” When the measure was introduced, Rep. Black had said that her state of Tennessee had tried to stop giving Title X grants to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in order to redirect those grants to other health providers. The HHS had explained that the rule was created in reaction to states that tried to stop funding abortion providers.
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser added that “prioritizing funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care alternatives is a winning issue.” She pushed for Congress to take up more legislation to strip Planned Parenthood and abortion providers of other federal funds like Medicaid reimbursements. She said they should “redirect” federal funds to other health providers that do not perform abortions.
“The resolution signed today simply ensures that states are not forced to fund an abortion business with taxpayer dollars,” Dannenfelser said ahead of the signing of the bill. “Rather, states have the option to spend Title X money on comprehensive health care clinics that better serve women and girls,” she said.