Today 40 state legislators who are members of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List)’s National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus released a joint statement thanking President Trump for instituting the “Protect Life Rule” to disentangle abortion centers from the Title X Family Planning Program, fulfilling a campaign promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood:

“As a coalition of women elected to serve in state government, we thank President Trump for keeping his promise to direct taxpayer dollars away from the abortion industry and instead fund life-affirming health care for women.

“Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion business. While there has been a downward trend of abortions nationwide, Planned Parenthood consistently performs around 330,000 per year. Meanwhile, other non-abortion services at Planned Parenthood are in decline. Over the past five years, contraceptive services are down 28%, cancer screening and prevention services are down 41%, and manual breast cancer screenings are down 39%. Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda is clear, and it’s time for the Title X program to draw an equally clear line between abortion and family planning.

“Women and girls are best served by Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortion.  For example, the growing number of community and rural health care centers greatly outpaces Planned Parenthood facilities and they provide far greater comprehensive care. We thank President Trump for working to redirect tax dollars away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and instead fund life-affirming alternatives.”

Additional pro-life women endorsing the Protect Life Rule include:

Donna Harrison, M.D., Executive Director of AAPLOG and an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute: “The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) applauds President Trump’s common sense clarification of the original purpose of Title X, which explicitly did not support pushing abortion as a method of family planning. Under previous administrations the intent of Title X was contorted and circumvented in order to allow Planned Parenthood to pay for everything up to the point of the actual abortion, including pressuring women to have abortions in their counseling. The Trump administration action corrects this horrendous perversion of the law and restores Title X funds to real health care facilities, instead of abortion mills. AAPLOG applauds this clarification.

“Planned Parenthood markets abortion to pregnant women, but it is Planned Parenthood, not the woman, who benefits. Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers are especially high among minorities and women at or below the poverty level. Planned Parenthood’s insistence on pushing abortion on women should deem them ineligible for even a cent of taxpayer funding. Abortion is not health care. AAPLOG and its members and associates applaud President Trump for putting precious Title X funds towards real health care and providing real help to women.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN): “I’m proud to stand with the Trump administration to ensure that our money is funding actual family planning programs, and not the abortion industry. Abortion is not women’s healthcare or family planning — it’s family destruction.”

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): “I am heartened that the Trump Administration is putting forward new regulations to clear up any misunderstanding: abortion is not family planning, and the abortion industry should not be the recipient of taxpayer funded family planning programs. This proposed rule will distinguish between health care facilities that provide family planning services and clinics whose business models promote, facilitate, and perform the inhumane act of abortion.”

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS): “President Trump’s executive order will ensure that resources for women’s health are directed to make the largest impact possible. For example, there is not a single planned parenthood in my district but there are dozens of community health clinics and other options that provide health services for women. It’s important that we focus on maximizing options for women and that’s what this order does.”

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD): “Taxpayers should not have to bear the abortion industry’s financial burden – directly or indirectly. I am proud to stand with President Trump in protecting taxpayer dollars from abortion advocates, using those family-planning dollars instead to provide comprehensive, life-affirming care to women.”

Indiana Senator Liz Brown (District 15): “I applaud President Trump for his courageous decision on the proposed Protect Life Rule. I stand with Hoosiers who prefer our tax dollars be used for improving the health of all Hoosiers, not for the taking of innocent life.”

Indiana Senator Erin Houchin (District 47): “I applaud President Trump and his administration for taking a bold stand for life with the proposal of the Protect Life Rule. By prohibiting Title X funds from going to abortion providers, we will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being spent on ending innocent lives, and will instead be directed to life-affirming healthcare and family-planning organizations. Indiana has been a leader in the pro-life movement, and I am proud of the President for fighting for women’s health and the unborn on a national scale.”

Indiana Representative Peggy Mayfield (District 60): “Hoosier women deserve care that focuses on their well-being and health, rather than the push toward the profitability of abortion and the destruction of the life of their child. We know that community health centers and other types of clinics available in Indiana focus on the health of women. Not only do these 3,600 alternative locations provide more comprehensive healthcare compared to Planned Parenthood’s limited services at 17 facilities, but they outnumber the abortion giant’s number of locations more than 200 to 1. The stand-alone family planning clinic has become a thing of the past and the new Title X regulations recognize that.”

Kelly Marcum, Legislative Assistant, Family Research Council: “Changing the Title X regulations is a critical step forward that will allow these federal funds to better serve our nation’s most vulnerable populations. The new regulations will allow for a more robust array of organizations to apply for Title X funding, particularly pro-life and faith-based organizations that previously could not apply due to an abortion referral requirement by the Clinton administration. Without this requirement, groups that have previously been shut out of Title X may now apply for funds and expand their health services to women in underserved and rural areas who have previously had no access to Title X clinics. Furthermore, the new regulations ensure that abortion will not be treated as a family planning method, and will stop Title X from continuing to subsidize the abortion industry by preventing the co-location of abortion services with Title X recipients.”

Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue: “I am very grateful to President Trump for making the Protect Life Rule a reality.  As someone that researches abortion abuses daily, I know this rule will protect vulnerable women from exploitation and possible harm at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that masquerade as women’s health facilities. President Trump promised to defund Planned Parenthood and today he has kept that promise as far as the Title X program is concerned. Thank you, Mr. President!”

The “Protect Life Rule” does not reduce family planning funding by a single dime. Instead, it directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities. Similar regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan (500 U.S. 173).

Announcement of the “Protect Life Rule” comes ahead of President Trump’s keynote address at SBA List’s eleventh annual Campaign for Life Gala, which will take place tomorrow, May 22 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Earlier this month 85 national and state pro-life groups41 U.S. Senators and 153 U.S. Representatives called on President Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar to issue new Title X regulations. A recent Marist poll found that six in ten Americans oppose the use of taxpayer funding for abortion.

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