August 21, 2019

Planned Parenthood Exits Title X Program

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

“Planned Parenthood said on Monday it was withdrawing from a federal program subsidizing reproductive healthcare for low-income women after the Trump administration banned participants in the program from referring women to abortion providers… the policy [also] requires financial and physical separation between facilities funded by Title X and those where actual abortions are performed.” Reuters

Under the new rule, “Health professionals are free to provide non-directive pregnancy counseling, including counseling on abortion, and are not prohibited in any way from providing medically necessary information to clients. The Final Rule does NOT include the 1988 Regulation’s prohibition on counseling on abortion – characterized by some as a ‘gag rule’ – but neither does it retain the mandate that all grantees MUST counsel on, and refer for, abortion. Referral for abortion as a method of family planning is not permitted, because the statute written by Congress prohibits funding programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” HHS.gov

See past issues

From the Left

The left is critical of the new rule and argues that it amounts to a gag rule that prevents doctors from providing relevant information to their patients.

The stand-off is a case study in how extreme the tactics of the abortion debate have become. The Trump administration is openly dedicated to kneecapping health-care providers that perform abortions, and Planned Parenthood is its biggest target. Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, would rather take a huge financial hit and wage a high-profile fight with the Trump administration than change its practices. In this political environment, any money or policy that comes close to touching the abortion issue is fair game for war, no matter how many people lose access to health-care services as a result.”
Emma Green, The Atlantic

This is devastating news for the patients who rely on the clinics that have chosen to withdraw from the program, which serves roughly 4 million people (40% of them through Planned Parenthood facilities). Planned Parenthood says it does not plan to close any clinics just yet, but it’s likely to cut back its hours of service. That means contraception and other reproductive healthcare will be harder to come by, particularly in rural areas where the Title X withdrawal will have the most impact. Nor do industry experts believe other community health clinics will pick up the slack, as the Trump administration has predicted. Even if those clinics were willing to try, it would take years for the ones already serving broad populations to be able to take on hundreds of new reproductive care patients.”
Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

“They claim this isn’t a gag rule, but given how broadly the new Title X guidelines are written—‘A Title X project may not perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning’—most providers consider themselves gagged because they can’t risk losing their federal funding over any discussion of abortion… A 2019 report from the Guttmacher Institute put it bluntly: ‘The Trump administration is seeking to transform Title X from an agent of reproductive autonomy to a tool of government-sponsored reproductive coercion.’”
Melissa Gira Grant, New Republic

“Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers were given an impossible choice: They could have continued to receive Title X funds, but that would have required them not just to stop providing the safe, legal abortions to which American women are entitled but to refuse to even tell women where they could get legal abortion procedures. That's an unconscionable encroachment on free speech; it effectively gags doctors and nurses from giving patients accurate information about their completely legal health care options…

“Contraception isn't just about preventing pregnancy. When women can make their own decisions about their own bodies and reproductive lives, they are more financially secure. They are physically safer. They have more room to grow and achieve what they want. This is what Title X, and Planned Parenthood, fight for: a universe in which women are the primary decision-makers about their own lives and their own bodies.”
Jill Filipovic, CNN

“Koch’s principles were not purely partisan. He supported same-sex marriage and abortion rights and believed in the value of free trade and humane immigration policies. He reviled the war on drugs and pushed, quite successfully, for criminal justice and prison reform…

“He gave $100 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital; $150 million to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; tens of millions to the Hospital for Special Surgery. Another $100 million went toward renovating the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. Another $65 million, to restore the fountains and plaza outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another $20 million, to the Museum of Natural History. Much of what Koch’s legacy was will be argued over for decades, as it should be. Some of it will deliver aid, comfort and enrichment to people who care not one whit about the name on the hospital wing or museum wall.”
Editorial Board, New York Daily News

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right supports the rule and criticizes planned parenthood for prioritizing abortion over women’s healthcare.

From the Right

The right supports the rule and criticizes planned parenthood for prioritizing abortion over women’s healthcare.

“The regulation not only allows doctors to ‘mention’ abortion, it allows ‘nondirective counseling on abortion’ — that is, counseling that doesn’t push a pregnant woman toward an abortion… Is Planned Parenthood really giving up $60 million in federal funding simply because it would have to tell clients to Google the phone number of nearest abortionist, who is often operating down the hall? What’s much more likely is that Planned Parenthood would never comply with the regulation because it also requires physical separation between abortion facilities and grantees that provide contraception under Title X…

“Planned Parenthood is free under the regulation to provide abortion counseling, but it doesn’t want to separate its contraception business from its abortion business, as required by the statute establishing Title X. The new regulation is not simply a meaningful step in the right direction for the pro-life cause, it’s a win for the rule of law.”
John McCormack, National Review

“The Trump administration hasn’t reduced federal funding for the Title X program by a cent… [but] even if contraception access were to decline, it would be evidence not that the Trump administration has gutted Title X but that Planned Parenthood has gutted its own ability to provide health care in order to keep performing abortions. If the group’s executives were serious about women’s health, they would’ve chosen to maintain federal funding, adapting to the rule and financially distinguishing abortion procedures from the rest of the group’s work.”
Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

“Planned Parenthood [predicts] their withdrawal would create the demise of Title X, but that’s nonsense. The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on contraception through the program, the kind of demand that creates supply organically. If Planned Parenthood exits the program, other clinics will open to fill the gap — clinics that will comply with the rule not to provide abortion counseling or referrals but stick to contraception, which is Title X’s mission in the first place. There may be some disruption in the short term, but that would be within Planned Parenthood’s power to fixby complying with the rule.”
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

Dated but relevant: “When Leana Wen was unceremoniously fired as president of Planned Parenthood, she penned a New York Times op-ed citing two reasons for her ouster: 1) Criticism that she ‘did not prioritize abortion enough.’ 2) Resistance to her ‘attempt to depoliticize Planned Parenthood’…

“Wen was criticized as being not merely apolitical, but too conservative. She envisioned Planned Parenthood transcending partisan politics and finding common ground, but that was seen as ‘mission creep’ by the board and entrenched staff. What exactly is your mission if ‘work[ing] to change the perception that Planned Parenthood was just a progressive political entity and show that it was first and foremost a mainstream health care organization’ constitutes mission creep?”
Katie Glenn, Washington Examiner

“Democrats spent more than two years talking about Russia, Russia, Russia seven days per week. It was their way of keeping the story in the news in the hopes that it would eventually bring down Trump. Now that the Russia thing has blown up in their faces, they need to trot out a new totem to raise against the President and the magic word is impeachment… This isn’t about actually impeaching Donald Trump. This is a strategy to have people hearing the word impeachment associated with Trump on a daily basis to give the impression that he’s going to crumble any day now. And they need to keep that going until next November.”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

“If a dozen drones or missiles can do the kind of damage to the world economy as did those fired on Saturday—shutting down about 6 percent of world oil production—imagine what a U.S.-Iran-Saudi war would do to the world economy. In recent decades, the U.S. has sold the Saudis hundreds of billions of dollars of military equipment. Did our weapons sales carry a guarantee that we will also come and fight alongside the kingdom if it gets into a war with its neighbors?… the nation does not want another war. How we avoid it, however, is becoming difficult to see. John Bolton may be gone from the West Wing, but his soul is marching on.”
Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“Why did Modi pick this moment to do something so radical? Violence in Kashmir had been trending downwards for the last year, after all. The main reason, besides President Donald Trump's alarming offer to mediate a settlement, is that he wanted a distraction from India's mounting economic woes. India's GDP growth dropped from over 8 percent to 5.8 percent over the last year, and it is widely expected to dip further. Just as ominous has been the crash in consumer demand. India's usual problem has been an insufficient supply to meet its voracious appetite for vehicles, cell phones, and other similar goods. But sales figures for all consumer goods have posted a precipitous decline, slamming businesses that are dramatically scaling back investments.”
Shikha Dalmia, Reason

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.