WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s decision to allow Title X family planning funds to go to health facilities that perform and promote abortion “is offensive to tens of millions of Americans,” said the president of National Right to Life.
“The vast majority of Americans believe that using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion is wrong,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in a statement.
Her comments came Oct. 4 in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it had officially reversed the Trump-era “Protect Life Rule” enforcing Title X’s ban on taxpayer funds from being used to promote or provide elective abortions.
Title X, enacted by the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, covers reproductive health care services for low-income patients such as wellness exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, contraceptives, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Section 1008 of the law states that “none of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
In February 2019, the Trump administration implemented its rule to enforce Section 1008, and the rule was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Feb 24, 2020.
On Jan. 28, eight days after he was inaugurated, President Joe Biden announced he would rescind the Trump-era rule.
He stated this in his “Presidential Memorandum to Protect and Expand Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care,” which also included his actions to rescind the “Mexico City policy,” which blocked U.S. funding for nongovernmental organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a form of family planning in other nations.
Biden said the “Protect Life Rule” placed “onerous requirements on abortion providers.”
On April 15, the Department of Health and Human Services published the administration’s proposed rule in the Federal Register, opening a 30-day period for public comment.
The Title X provision enforced by President Donald Trump “draws a bright line between abortion and family planning,” the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities said in April 16 statement.
The Biden administration’s proposed rule to rescind this “is terrible policy,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, the chairman. “It would reintegrate abortion into what is supposed to be a pre-pregnancy family planning program.”
“In spite of explicit prohibitions in federal law and clear congressional intent that abortion may not be a part of this program, it has repeatedly been coopted by abortion supporters as a funding stream for organizations, programs and facilities that directly promote and provide abortions,” the archbishop said.
In April, he called on Biden “to suspend this proposed rule and leave the Title X program as it was intended and authorized to be — a program entirely separate from abortion.”
More than 500,000 people sign petition urging court to overturn Roe decision
WASHINGTON — After a prayer rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington Oct. 4, Students for Life of America and the Justice Foundation released the “Moral Outcry Petition,” a call for the court to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
Over half a million Americans signed the petition, which was two massive scrolls filled with the signatures.
“Every child, born or preborn, has the inalienable right to life given by God,” said Tina Whittington, executive vice president of Students for Life of America, an organization she said “stands with the hundreds of thousands of signers who call on the Supreme Court to do the right thing and protect the lives of the preborn.”
“The pro-life generation will not rest until abortion is abolished and made unthinkable,” she said.
The Justice Foundation said in a statement that the petition “stands on the premise that U.S. citizens do not accept abortion as the law of the land. Especially now that every state has passed safe-haven laws, the ‘unwanted child’ argument of the pro-abortion lobby is no longer valid.”
Safe-haven laws generally allow the parent, or an agent of the parent, to remain anonymous and to be shielded from criminal liability and prosecution for child endangerment, abandonment or neglect in exchange for surrendering the baby to a safe haven.
Pro-life supporters argue these laws provide a free, safe alternative to abortion for pregnant women in need who feel that they could not care for a newborn.
“This is an unprecedented moment in our fight to abolish abortion,” Whittington added. “With a ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, the pro-life movement may soon see at least the partial reversal of Roe v. Wade.”
On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Dobbs case, which is an appeal from Mississippi to keep its ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Supporters of the law are urging the court to reexamine its previous abortion rulings, including Roe v. Wade.
If the court overturns Roe, the move would not make abortion illegal throughout the U.S., but would return the issue to the states to be decided.
For 15 years, Whittington said, Students for Life of America “has been preparing for a post-Roe America, and the Moral Outcry petition reflects the many Americans who have fought and prayed for the protection of the preborn in law — and who now stand ready to serve mothers and families.”
Oct. 4 was the first day of the high court’s new term, and both pro-life advocates and supporters of legal abortion gathered along the street at the front of the court or nearby to rally for their side on the abortion question.