Last month, Governor Brown turned down roughly $3.1 million in annual funding from the federal Title X program. In doing so, she placed Planned Parenthood’s interests over the interests of some 50,000 Oregonians who depend on the program for their health care.
For over 40 years, the Title X program has provided states with funds for family planning services. The program’s authors never intended to fund abortions, although the money has gone to abortion clinics for other services. In fact, Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funds.
To support the intention of the program, the Protect Life Rule was adopted by the Trump administration this year in order to ensure that Title X funds are not granted to the abortion industry.
Facilities that receive Title X grants are now required to physically separate abortion services from family planning services. The Protect Life Rule also removed a requirement to provide abortion referrals which allows non-abortion-providing facilities like pregnancy resource centers to apply for funds.
Here are some things you need to know about the Protect Life Rule and the actions of the Brown administration:
• The new rule reflects the original intent of the program: helping people plan their families, not ending the lives of existing family members.
• The rule requires physical separation of family planning and abortion facilities, as well as eliminating shared staff, by March 2020.
• It repeals a current requirement that grantees must offer abortion as an option.
• The rule restricts a Title X grantee from referring for an abortion.
• The Supreme Court upheld these regulations in 1991 under Rust v. Sullivan, which prohibited the use of federal dollars on abortion services.
• Nationwide, roughly 60 million federal dollars will be forfeited by Planned Parenthood. Those funds will be reallocated to other Title X family planning clinics that do not provide abortions.
• In Oregon alone, there are 24 federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs), which do not provide abortions, for every single Planned Parenthood clinic.
Lois Anderson, Executive Director stated, “Governor Kate Brown is working at the behest of her political cronies, but at the expense of Oregon taxpayers. Title X was designed to fund family planning services for low income Americans, not to fund ending the lives of existing family members.”
The state of Oregon is also taking a lead role in an ongoing lawsuit brought by 22 states, American Medical Association and Planned Parenthood among others that challenges the Protect Life rule and seeks to prevent the rule from going into effect. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals were held on September 23, 2019. The back and forth legal argument over the new rules has been ongoing and will likely end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.