HHS rule would defund abortion clinics

Pro-life supporters are celebrating a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would remove federal funding from clinics that perform or encourage abortion as a family planning method. The rule would eliminate more than $50 million of funding to Planned Parenthood.

Title X of the federal Public Health Services Act already prohibits the use of federal money to specifically fund abortions, but the new rule would require that abortion clinics be physically and financially separate from those offering Title X reproductive services.

The proposed rule “provides necessary transparency and ensures that Title X dollars are spent on family planning, not abortion,” said Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America.

In a letter to HHS, more than 85 pro-life groups had urged adoption of the rule: “It is time to act swiftly to disentangle abortion centers from the Title X network. … Abortion is not family planning, and the law recognizes that.”

The proposed rule is open for public comment through the Federal Register until July 31.