Cut Planned Parenthood Funding Through Reagan-Era Regulation, Pro-Life Leaders Tell Trump

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Vista, California
A Planned Parenthood clinic in Vista, California | REUTERS/Mike Blake

Pro-life leaders are encouraging President Donald Trump to cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood through a Reagan administration Title X regulation.

The Reagan-era regulations would bar any family planning entity that performs or promotes abortion from receiving Title X Family Planning Program funding.

Some Republicans and pro-life activists view the restoration of Reagan era Title X regulation as a good way to boost support for the party ahead of the midterm elections later this year.

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Kelly Marcum of the Family Research Council explained to The Hill in an article published Wednesday that the "life issue is a huge motivator for the right."

"Getting a win on the pro-life side, even if it's regulatory rather than legislative, would be huge, and encourage people to come out and vote for the members who pushed for action on this," stated Marcum, as quoted by The Hill.

"It's a way to wiggle away at Planned Parenthood federal funding, and a way to reinforce the idea that abortion is not family planning."

Called the "Domestic Gag Rule" by critics, the Reagan era rule was first introduced in 1988, but because of a legal battle never fully took effect. In 1993, the rule was rescinded by President Bill Clinton.

Following failed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional legislation, a group of about 80 pro-life organizations sent a letter to the Trump administration earlier this month requesting a return to the Reagan rule.

"Reinstating President Ronald Reagan's Title X regulations is sorely needed to bring the program into clear alignment with the statutory requirement stating, 'None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.' Abortion is not family planning and the law recognizes that," read the letter.

Signatories of the letter included Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, FRC President Tony Perkins, Liberty Council Founder and Chairman Mat Staver, Live Action President Lila Rose, Priests for Life National Director Fr. Frank Pavone, and Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, among others.

For its part, Planned Parenthood Action Fund has denounced the proposal, telling supporters in a statement released earlier this month that if the Reagan rule returns, "it would block the 41 percent of Title X patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for care."

The group also claimed that without the government funds women would lose access to referrals to its abortion business. 

"It would mean that the four million people nationwide who depend on access to reproductive health care through Title X would lose access to information, counseling, and referral for abortion," continued Planned Parenthood.

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