House Votes to Overturn Obama Admin Rule Banning States From Defunding Planned Parenthood

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to overturn a rule issued by the Obama administration that bans states from defunding the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood.

Congress used its authority under the Congressional Review Act, which allows the legislative branch to overturn orders issued within the past 60 days. It agreed 228-188, under House Joint Resolution 43, to return power to the states to distribute Title X funding as they see fit.

“This resolution does not cut a dime from family planning funding available to states. It simply enables states to direct the funding towards non-abortion, whole-women health care providers,” explained Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.

As previously reported, Title X was enacted in 1970 under the Public Health Service Act and authorizes the Office of Population Affairs to oversee the disbursement of federal funds for the purpose of assisting organizations that offer “family planning” services. States distribute the capital to reproductive and women’s health organizations as they see fit.

In recent years, a number of states have sought to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood after granting the organization funds for years, remarking that they do not wish to assist groups that provide abortion services, even if the funds will not be directly used for abortion.

But the Obama administration contended last year that stripping abortion facilities of funding results in undesired births. It also asserted that such locations are important because they provide contraceptives.

“Reducing access to Title X services has many adverse effects. Title X services have a dramatic effect on the number of unintended pregnancies and births in the United States,” HHS said in September. “For example, services provided by Title X-funded sites helped prevent an estimated 1 million unintended pregnancies in 2010 which would have resulted in an estimated 501,000 unplanned births.”

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) consequently drafted a rule—which it finalized in December—that amends the Code of Federal Regulations to read, “No recipient making subawards for the provision of services as part of its Title X project may prohibit an entity from participating for reasons unrelated to its ability to provide services effectively.”

But some lawmakers sought to overturn the rule, which they opined was crafted with bias and incorrect information.

“This edict was replete with statements that the Administration cannot back up,” said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. “For example, the rule stated that health care providers with a focus on reproductive health—for example Planned Parenthood—can ‘accomplish Title X programmatic objectives more effectively.’ This is demonstrably false.”

“According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive services dropped by 18% over the last year,” she noted. “And their total number of services provided dropped by 11% even as their taxpayer funding increased by millions and their abortions continued at over 320,000 a year.”

As previously reported, Planned Parenthood’s 2016 annual report showed that the number of women visiting the organization during the 2014-2015 fiscal period was the lowest in almost a decade. The report totaled its services provided as being 9,455,582, with business being down by nearly a million persons from the year before, when figures totaled 10,590,333.

Over 2.9 million people were provided with contraceptives or other forms of birth control in 2014-2015—from temporary to permanent, including over 900 thousand emergency contraception kits. The figure was down from 3.5 million in 2013, and 3.7 million in 2012.

Democrats still decried the House vote, stating that Washington should stay out of the matter of reproductive health.

“Repealing this rule is a serious problem,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. “This [decision] should be made by patients and their doctors, not by bureaucrats in Washington.”

But House Speaker Paul Ryan said that was his point exactly: that the Obama administration shouldn’t tell states what to do with family planning funds.

“Many states have distributed these funds, not to Planned Parenthood, but to effective community health centers that do not perform abortions. Ultimately, states know the needs of their communities better than bureaucrats in Washington. But this regulation strips states of their longstanding ability to decide how federal funds should be used in their state. This repeal would restore the proper balance of powers,” he said.

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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Abortion must get abolished. It is murder of innocent children.

    • antifasciste

      Abolish abortion? How would you propose to accomplish that? Even if it becomes illegal to terminate a pregnancy, a subset of women will find a way to end an unwanted pregnancy.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Yes, unwanted children will be always killed by someone because they are defenseless in this world, but the state does not have to legalize or encourage murder of children. Such nations are being evil and people must speak up while there is freedom. People can be educated by the Christians that abortion is wrong. Slavery was legally abolished, so it is not impossible to abolish abotion. People just have to stop treating certain groups of humans as sub-humans. At the end, everyone stands before the judgment seat of God. Revelation chapter 20. It is Christians’ holy duty to evangelize and teach everyone God’s truth and to do everything and anything to protect innocent children until King Jesus returns.

        • antifasciste

          Doesn’t your God/Jesus also command you to help the poor? Maybe your religious institutions could do more to help young mothers protect and feed their babies in what can be a frightening world.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The Church does all she can always everywhere in the entire planet; she has been doing it for 2,000 years and fed the entire America. USA is such a young nation it doesn’t know history.

          • jamieobomber

            Close your legs. Simple.

      • Chris

        The point is to punish the women, not to abolish abortion.

        • antifasciste

          Because punishment is such an effective deterrent?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Nazi soldiers did not value the life of the Jewish people by looking at them as sub-humans. Pro-choice men and women are that way. You were all fetus; you just survived unlike those who were aborted. Why don’t you get it? Stop trying to harm the fellow unborn children.

          • Chris

            Not at all. The women have done something fundies don’t like and they should be punished as far as they are concerned. The punishment is an end in itself if I’m correct.

            Some feminists however, argue that this attempt to punish women is an attempt to control female behavior, more specifically female sexuality.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No child must get killed for anyone’s inconvenience or lifestyles. Period.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          Let women get punished, but the children should not be killed. No excuse for murder in any circunstance. Secular men sleep around like animals and use women like used cars and that’s why children get killed by the used women.

    • Katana Man

      Plus immigrants don’t get them.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Western white people should have normal morality(Christianity) in their land again and get married and have more children. Let men work hard and women raise children to be happy. All rich nations’ secular people for that matter. Don’t send women to battlefields or encourage them to be manly.

  • Defiant

    These Feminazis don’t understand the difference between the government’s “taking away” their “care” (and interesting way to describe it) and simply refusing to any longer FINANCE said “care”. These woman can feel free to straddle the Hoover whenever they like…but I certainly shouldn’t be forced to contribute to it, financially.

  • Lophatt

    Good! This progressed precisely as I expected. First, one had to see a minister and a shrink and doctor. It was done in hospital. Then in a clinic. Now “on demand”, as if murder was a “right”.

    I realize that this is a difficult problem. It doesn’t need some state-sponsored abortion mill making money from children’s lives.

  • 2Conservative

    As to the ‘beauties’ with the pro-abortion signs. Nobody is stopping you from getting one and paying for it yourself. At least take THAT much responsibility for your ‘health’.

  • June Bug

    Women have the right to their own body before they get pregnant. Once pregnant, their body is no longer their body for the next 9 months, but that was the CHOICE of the woman when she had sex. Abortion should be outlawed based on human rights. We do not know if the baby would choose to be aborted and until we can know weather the baby wants to be aborted or not, we should wait. There are alternatives to abortion.