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Nate Jackson / May 18, 2018

Trump Uses Reagan Rule to Block Abortion Funding

Contrary to the Leftmedia narrative, this does not amount to “sweeping new abortion restrictions.”

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan used Title X regulations to prevent organizations that receive federal dollars from promoting or referring for abortions, or from sharing physical space with abortion providers. After all, the 1970 law establishing Title X states: “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” Nevertheless, abortion proponents sued. Though the Supreme Court ruled in Reagan’s favor, the policy never actually went into effect because neither President Bush followed his lead, and, naturally, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama opposed it. President Donald Trump, however, plans to resurrect that rule in an announcement today. Stand by for Planned Parenthood to sue in three, two, one…

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion mill, kills more than 300,000 babies before birth every year, and it receives $500 million in taxpayer funding to do so. Of course, the organization insists that it’s complying with federal law preventing taxpayer dollars from being used directly for abortions. As Yuval Levin explained in 2015, “Planned Parenthood gets around the legal prohibition by formally separating its abortion clinics and its other family planning services, even when those are located in the same facility and essentially funded jointly.”

But let’s be honest — abortions are what Planned Parenthood does. Other health services are a mere fig leaf designed to obscure that fact. Pouring water in the shallow end of the pool is the same as pouring it in the deep end.

Given that Republicans in unified control of Washington have failed to defund Planned Parenthood as promised, Trump’s move is a welcome one. But does it go far enough?

Well, the rule only affects $260 million in federal funding for contraception and other “family planning” services, of which Planned Parenthood receives part. The bulk of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding comes from Medicaid, and only legislation can stop it.

Furthermore, “This proposal does not necessarily defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they’re willing to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning, which is required by the Title X law,” said an administration official. “Any grantees that perform, support, or refer for abortion have a choice — disentangle themselves from abortion or fund their activities with privately raised funds.” Planned Parenthood has no shortage of private funds, either.

In other words, it seems that semantics and accounting gimmicks may still suffice, and, contrary to the Leftmedia narrative, this does not amount to “sweeping new abortion restrictions.” Even so, Trump has yet again acted where congressional Republicans (and two previous GOP presidents) failed. Let’s hope it leads to further action to stop funding mass slaughter.

By the way, on Wednesday, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was presented with the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Just a reminder that she oversaw the demise of 3.5 million babies in her 12-year tenure.

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