Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Warning To States That Cut Funds To Planned Parenthood

Good.

“Despite reporting record income, Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services are in steep decline, clients are leaving, and dozens of facilities have closed. Meanwhile, the abortion chain does more than 320,000 abortion procedures per year, and they are under federal investigation for their role in the harvest and sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit.”

“We urge Congress to swiftly finish what this pro-life administration has started by passing the Conscience Protection Act and redirecting half a billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care. No one should ever be forced to participate in the destruction of innocent unborn children, and Planned Parenthood does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars,”   said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced [recently] that it is rescinding a warning issued by the Obama administration to state governments stating that they cannot deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood on the grounds that they are abortion providers.

The warning was issued in 2016 by the HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after Planned Parenthood complained that 24 states were denying Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The state initiatives to end Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding came in response to an undercover investigation by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress in 2015 that used hidden cameras to expose Planned Parenthood’s business selling fetal body parts following abortions.

However, it is unclear if the rescinding of the guidance will enable states to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, because some federal courts interpret existing federal law as prohibiting the states to do so.

Louisiana has been ordered to restore Medicaid funding in one federal court ruling in 2017, while a federal appeals court permitted Arkansas to bar the funds to the abortion provider the same year.

Additionally, Richard Severino, the head of HHS’s Civil Rights Office, told CNBC that a new regulation is now being proposed that will require health-care providers that receive federal funding to declare that they are respecting the conscience of those workers who do not wish to perform abortions, sterilizations, assisted suicide and other similar procedures on religious or moral grounds. Such a rule could be difficult for Planned Parenthood to implement.

Currently, federal law prohibits Medicaid money from being used for most abortions, although there are exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the mother’s health. However, it does not prohibit Medicaid money from funding abortion providers for other services categorized as “medical.” LifeSite