Most of us are familiar with the iconic opening line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
But that sentence goes quite a bit further, including “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness….”
It sounds like Dickens could be writing in our own time, and about two states in our nation: Texas and New Jersey.
Several years ago, Texas defunded Planned Parenthood by excluding any provider that performs abortions from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which was jointly funded by state and federal tax dollars. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration pulled all federal funding for Texas’ program—then $9 federal dollars for every $1 state dollar—endangering the services provided for poor and low-income women.
In response, Texas decided to make up the difference—fully funding the program since 2012—till the Trump Administration announced last week that it would restore federal funds even while Texas continued to ban Planned Parenthood from these family-planning dollars.
Meanwhile, as 2019 was coming to a close, New Jersey faced a major budget crisis and was slashing or freezing spending for public schools, senior services and hospitals. Despite this, however, New Jersey managed to nearly double funding for Planned Parenthood—increasing funding from $9.5 million to $20 million—in order to replace federal Title X family-planning funds that Planned Parenthood decided to forgo rather than stop performing or referring for abortions.
An “age of wisdom, an age of foolishness, the season of Light, the season of Darkness,” indeed.
But lest we offer overly quick congratulations to Texas and grimace when we consider New Jersey, we must bear in mind that Planned Parenthood has just announced the biggest election plan in its history. The nation’s largest abortion business plans to spend $45 million in the presidential, congressional and state races this year.
And quite apart from the fact that we know those dollars will be spent advancing the most radical pro-abortion candidates Planned Parenthood can find, we know that every tax dollar they receive—even for non-abortion services—frees up a dollar they can spend to influence elections and lobby legislators to restore and expand their own funding.
Thus, government funding—at the state or federal level—compounds the evil that Planned Parenthood commits each day its clinics are open, by making every taxpaying American participate in their business and their election efforts.
And that’s why Family Policy Alliance remains committed to unleashing biblical citizenship to protect life—from conception to natural death—in policy and in elections. It’s why we are engaged in advancing pro-life legislation, efforts to protect preborn babies at earlier and earlier stages of pregnancy, and to stop your tax dollars from flowing to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. And it’s why we are Targeting 2 Win in Election 2020—in key states and districts across the nation.
Will you stand with Family Policy Alliance to protect life and push back against Planned Parenthood this year? Thank you in advance for your partnership for life!
For a nation where life is cherished,
Chief Operating Officer
Last week I asked the elected officials on the Assembly Appropriations Committee, “Why is the richest abortion provider in the world receiving a raise when 172 school districts in NJ are receiving massive cuts from their state aid? Why is it that we never have enough money to educate our children, but we always have enough money to end the lives of our children?”
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey®, New Jersey Right to Life, and other prolife activists testified before the Assembly Appropriations Committee regarding their intention to reward Planned Parenthood, the wealthiest abortion provider in the world, with a near 100% raise in NJ taxpayer funding through Assembly bill NJ 5802. Currently, Planned Parenthood receives $10.5 million each year from your tax dollars under the misleading classification of “Family Planning Services”. AB 5802 will line Planned Parenthood’s pockets with an additional $9.5 million to make up for the federal funds they voluntarily forfeited by removing themselves from the federal Title X program.
According to Congress, abortion is not and can never be a part of true family planning. Family planning services “should help men, women, and adolescents make healthy and fully informed decisions about starting a family and determine the number and spacing of children.” Recent federal rules and regulations have been passed to guarantee Title X funds do not run afoul of Congress’ intent to “favor childbirths over abortions” in its administration of Title X Funds. As NJ A5802 states, Planned Parenthood lost federal funds because their core mission violates Title X law—Abortion on demand is not family planning.
Unfortunately, the money allocated to Planned Parenthood in the NJ state budget will now surge to $20 million per year to fund the destruction of human life in cities like Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson and Trenton.
Sadly, the additional 9.5 million dollars of state money will not increase women’s health options, but the Title X federal funds will. There are 116 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in NJ that offer a full range of women’s healthcare, which does not include abortion. The money that Planned Parenthood forfeited under Title X is now free to flow to these true comprehensive health care centers. This means there is greater access to these FQHC’s in NJ’s underserved urban areas than there are to Planned Parenthood clinics.
- Newark has 2 Planned Parenthood Clinics, but 19 Federally Qualified Health Centers.
- Camden has 1 Planned Parenthood Clinics, but 7 Federally Qualified Health Centers.
- Paterson has 1 Planned Parenthood Clinics, but 3 Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Tragically, AB 5802 passed through the Appropriations Committee and is now awaiting a floor vote in the Assembly.
Together, we must demand our state legislature respect the life of preborn children in Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and other urban centers.
On behalf of the innocent,
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
Director of Alliances – Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Founder and Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council
On March 4, 2019, the Trump Administration published a new rule on the Title X Family Planning Program. Referred to as the “Protect Life Rule,” it ensures that recipients of Title X federal funds do not provide or refer for abortions.
For more than four decades, Title X grants have provided low-income and uninsured Americans with access to family planning and preventative health care services.
On Monday, all recipients of Title X dollars were required to submit a written statement to the Department of Health and Human Services confirming that they do not perform abortions and they will comply with the Protect Life Rule. Instead of doing so, Planned Parenthood announced it will withdraw from Title X.
What does this tell us about Planned Parenthood? Well, perhaps nothing new — we were already keenly aware of their unwavering support for abortion on demand. But this move does signal a new level of boldness by the nation’s largest abortion provider. It’s hard to hide behind a mantra of “our mission is to provide comprehensive health care” while thumbing your nose at funding to provide comprehensive family planning and other health care services!
It also reveals that the $60 million per year Planned Parenthood receives from Title X is insignificant to the organization. This notion is confirmed by our friends at the Heritage Foundation who analyzed the 2018 Government Accountability Office report which found Planned Parenthood received more than $1.5 billion in federal funding (including $1.2 billion from Medicaid) over a three-year period.
When compared to $500 million per year, $60 million is just a drop in the bucket. However, it’s $60 million less of taxpayer dollars being used to kill innocent human lives. And that’s certainly worth celebrating, even as we work to remove all taxpayer dollars flowing to abortion providers.
We can also celebrate the Trump Administration’s commitment to pro-life policies as demonstrated by the Protect Life Rule. The president’s actions to preserve and defend human life are in stark contrast to those of his predecessor, and many others who occupied the Oval Office before him. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, Title X taxpayer dollars will now return to their original intent and not be used to prop up the abortion industry. That’s a win for life!
Vice President of Strategy
By Stephanie C., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance®
A few months back, nearly 8000 of you sent emails through our action center to President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, urging them to create rules that will ensure Title X taxpayer funding does not go to abortion providers.
On June 1st, the Department of Health and Human Services (responding to the concerns of millions of Americans) proposed a new rule, “The Protect Life Rule.” If adopted, this rule will have a significant impact on prohibiting the tide of Title X funds going to abortion clinics—especially Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Family Policy Alliance submitted a public comment urging HHS to pass the “Protect Life Rule,” joined by many of our state family policy council allies, in strong support of the new rule and on behalf of our constituents. You can read our Official Comment here and look for your state!
Title X is a grant program intended to provide funding for family planning services. Family planning services refers to planning the number and spacing of children prior to pregnancy. The Title X statute explicitly prohibits funds from going to abortion clinics. Yet, during the Clinton Administration, HHS passed rules that required family planning dollars to support abortion referrals and abortion counseling. In addition, family planning dollars have been used by clinics that perform abortions, as long as that clinic claims they are using the money solely for family planning services.
In our official comment, we applauded HHS’s proposed “Protect Life Rule,” which would no longer allow abortion facilities to receive Title X dollars, even if they do provide “family planning services”. The rule will also prohibit clinics receiving Title X dollars from referring or counseling on abortion. Title X dollars must go to clinics that provide real family planning services. The more money abortion clinics receive, the less money is available for complete healthcare clinics that provide true preventive care, particularly those clinics in rural and underserved communities. Women and families seeking real preventive care are harmed when taxpayer money, that is intended to help them, is used by abortion providers to take life.
Like you, we are unapologetically prolife and support funding that truly empowers families to make healthy choices while receiving comprehensive preventive healthcare. This is why we strongly urge the HHS to adopt the new “Protect Life Rule”.
This week, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico joined several other state-based family policy groups in submitting official comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, expressing strong support of the proposed “Protect Life Rule.”
Title X is a federal grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This year, Title X was funded at $286 million which the Department can distribute to family healthcare centers across the nation.
DID YOU KNOW that the Title X Statute prohibits funds from going to abortions?
Yes, Title X funds are only supposed to be used for pre-conceptive family planning services. Over the decades, however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has implemented everchanging policies on what this means, creating a regulatory loophole for taxpayer funded abortions. For example, the Department has long allowed funds to go to clinics that offer abortion referrals and counseling; those that perform abortions out of the same room as family planning services; and those that do not keep their abortion program separate and distinct from their family planning services program. The biggest beneficiary of this loophole is Planned Parenthood which performs over 300,000 abortion a year and receives $50-$60 million annually in Title X funds.
The “Protect Life Rule”:
This proposed rule will help reduce taxpayer funded abortions by keeping Title X funds out of the hands of abortion providers. Specifically, the rule would:
- Require Title X grant applicants to prove they will not in any way, shape, or form use Title X funds to promote, encourage, or advocate for abortion;
- Prohibit Title X Funds from going to programs that provide abortion referrals or abortion counseling; and
- Require programs that receive Title X funds and provide abortion services to have facilities and services that are separate and distinct from its family planning services. (e.g. A clinic location that is receiving Title X Funds cannot also provide abortions out of the same space.)
Please note, the “Protect Life Rule” does not reduce funding, nor does it prevent anyone from accessing abortion. It would simply address the absurdity of using funds designated for family planning and pre-conceptive care to perform abortion services.
The good news is, when this rule is adopted, one loophole for taxpayer funded abortions will be closed—a loophole that for years has allowed the abortion industry to subsidize the killing of preborn babies through the federal treasury.
The bad news is, the abortion industry will continue to receive millions of dollars from the federal treasury in the form of Medicaid reimbursements.
In short, the “Protect Life Rule” is a great first step, but we still have work to do! And to that effort, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico and our national network of pro-family organizations will continue to advance public policies—local and national—that protect life and help create stable, safe, and nurturing families.
Standing for Life and Family,
President and Executive Director