On this week’s episode, John Gerardi and Jonathan Keller talk about Title X funding, how the pro-choice movement exploits the federal judicial system, and perinatal hospice programs.
Federal district court judges have been issuing injunctions for Trump administration policies with which they disagree, most recently Title X funding. Title X is a program that focuses on funding for family planning programs. Started under the Nixon administration, grants are given to states and institutions. Originally, funds were prohibited from going to abortion providers. So how has Planned Parenthood become one of the chief recipients?
Planned Parenthood claims that within the walls of their building, they have an abortion-providing clinic and a Title X-eligible clinic. Sure, they both have the same staff and the same address, but technically, they’re different providers. The Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations tried to close this loophole by prohibiting providers from performing abortions on site, referring patients for abortions, or counseling for abortion (which the pro-choice lobby labelled a “gag rule”). The Clinton administration eliminated this rule, and the George W Bush administration didn’t touch it.
Enter the Trump administration. The Department of Health and Human Services reinstated some of the Reagan-era rules: Title X recipients may still counsel regarding abortion (hence, no “gag rule”), but they did reinstate the rule that Title X-eligible clinics must be physically and financially separate from abortion providers, and that they may not refer for abortion (NOTE: John got this a bit confused during the show!). This would eliminate Planned Parenthood clinics from funding eligibility because these days all Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions (surgical or medication).
Due to the U.S. Federal Court Structure, any individual District Court judge can issue a stay of federal law that takes effect throughout the entire country. This has been seen recently with judges ruling on immigration regulations, and now with abortion funding regulations. Even though these restrictions are clearly consistent with the text of Title X (and were already upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991), the rules have been blocked by judges in the Eastern District of Washington and the District of Oregon.
Right to Life of Central California is partnering with The Obria Group to bring a pro-life prenatal healthcare clinic to Fresno. This clinic will provide prenatal care, abortion pill reversal, cancer screenings, and other healthcare services in a life-affirming, positive environment.
The Obria Group was recently awarded a $5.1 million grant from Title X funds. Unfortunately, the recent injunction on the new funding rules has placed these funds in jeopardy. Obria has started the process of challenging this, but the case may go all the way to the Supreme Court, which could take years to resolve. (Click here for more about RLCC’s partnership with Obria)
John talked about RLCC’s Open House earlier this week, at which he met a pregnant woman whose baby has received a fatal diagnosis. After the baby’s condition was diagnosed, she was immediately pressured by her doctor to end her pregnancy. When she cancelled her abortion appointment and chose to pursue perinatal hospice, her doctor threatened to drop her as a patient.
Indiana Right to Life was successful in passing a bill requiring that mothers whose babies are diagnosed with life-limiting conditions be given information about perinatal hospice. Studies show that parents who receive information about perinatal hospice are significantly more likely to carry their babies to term. The law doesn’t restrict abortion in any way – it is “pro-choice” in the truest sense of the word – and received bipartisan support. RLCC plans to partner with local lawmakers to advance a similar bill in California. Please contact us if you or someone you know needs support regarding an adverse fetal diagnosis.
Right to Life Radio can be heard on PowerTalk 96.7 every Saturday morning from 7-8am. It is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.