The Biden Administration issued a new rule this week that will allow health centers to receive federal funds even if they refer patients for abortions. On Monday, the Office of Population Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced revisions to the federal Title X family planning program, a grant program that provides people with “comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.”
As NC Family shared in 2019, while federal law prohibits Title X funds from being used for abortion services, abortion providers would frequently set up abortion clinics in the same offices as Title X clinics and refer people to those services. So, while Title X funds could not be directly used for abortion services, the money could cover salaries and rent, for example. The clinics’ abortions would thereby be indirectly subsidized by the government. Title X has had this ambiguity since President Clinton was in office. In 2019, HHS under the Trump Administration issued a rule to physically and financially separate Title X funded clinics from abortion related activities, thereby preventing millions of taxpayer dollars from flooding into the pockets of the abortion industry.
This new rule under the Biden Administration reverses the changes made under the previous administration. Monday’s final rule removes restrictions on “referrals for abortion services and eliminat[es] requirements for strict physical and financial separation between abortion-related activities and Title X project activities.” According to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, out of Title X’s roughly $285 million per year, “Planned Parenthood stands to gain up to $60 million annually in federal taxpayer funding,” with this new rule.