HHS Rescinds Obama-Era Rule Banning States From Excluding Planned Parenthood From Medicaid Program

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has rescinded an Obama-era rule that banned states from excluding the abortion giant Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid program.

“HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. The letter issued today rescinds 2016 guidance that specifically restricted states’ ability to take certain actions against family-planning providers that offer abortion services,” HHS outlined in a press release on Friday.

As previously reported, in September 2016, the HHS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, advising that intended to amend 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.”

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, stating 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 that stripping abortion facilities of funding results in undesired births, and 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 at the time. “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.”

  • Connect with Christian News

It finalized the rule in December 2016.

Planned Parenthood decried this week’s move by the Trump administration to restore the status quo prior to what it was before the Obama-era prohibition.

“The law is clear: it is illegal to bar women from seeking care at Planned Parenthood. Long-standing protections within Medicaid safeguard every person’s right to access care at their qualified provider of choice,” Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.

Religious freedom advocacy groups, however, applauded the move as being commendable.

“Medicaid dollars should go to local community health centers serving women—not the scandal-ridden billion-dollar abortion industry. In contrast to the Obama administration’s policy designed to reward the Big Abortion lobby, this rule empowers state legislatures to allocate Medicaid funding for women’s health,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) legal counsel Elissa Graves said in a statement.

HHS also explained that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is similarly rolling out a proposed rule to enforce 25 conscience protections already enshrined in law, which pertain to medical professionals who object to participating in abortions, sterilizations or physician-assisted suicide.

“America’s doctors and nurses are dedicated to saving lives and should not be bullied out of the practice of medicine simply because they object to performing abortions against their conscience,” OCR Director Roger Severino said in a statement. “Conscience protection is a civil right guaranteed by laws that too often haven’t been enforced.”

“Today’s proposed rule will provide our new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division with enforcement tools that will make sure our conscience laws are not empty words on paper, but guarantees of justice to victims of unlawful discrimination,” he remarked.

As previously reported, HHS likewise announced on Thursday that it is creating a new OCR division focused on protecting the right of conscience and religious freedom.

“The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom,” the department said in a statement.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Bradley Williams

    abortion, sterilisation and physician assisted suicide are the Darwinist Ableist Eugenic trifecta that is a death threat to us all. Resisting saves lives everyday.

    • DrIndica

      If you don’t like the idea of abortion, don’t get one.

      • Bradley Williams

        It is always good to know the source of your beliefs.

        • DrIndica

          Beliefs? You don’t know a single thing about what I may believe.

          • Bradley Williams

            Only by what you say.

      • 0pus

        That’s right. Slave-owners used to tell the abolitionists, “If you don’t like slavery, don’t own slaves. Mind your own business.”

        • DrIndica

          Slavery and pregnancy rights are only analogous in a strictly parochial world view

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        if you do not like wife beating, do not beat your wife ……. simple ……….

        what an idiotic philosophy ………..

        • DrIndica

          I don’t beat my wife. Leave it to a religious zealot to impose one’s dogma on others.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            so thats why you are here ….. to impose YOUR NON-religious zealotry and “dogma” ……… Got it …….

  • Abortion is murder. It is time for preachers to step up and take the lead to defend preborn babies! If preachers are too cowardly, parishioners must do it!

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    PA MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE OF FIRST-TRIMESTER UNBORN CHILD

    • DrIndica

      An embryo doesn’t meet the legal criteria for a homicide to have occurred.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        apparently not …………..

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        TRUMP HONORS ‘HUMANITY OF THE UNBORN’
        Issues declaration for 2018 National Sanctity of Human Life Day

        Well, well, well ……………. what a gob-smack …………

        • DrIndica

          Trump also congratulated LGBTQ group for 40 years of successful work

      • LynnRH

        I does to God. And in the end His opinion will be the only one that matters. And no one will be able to argue the point.

        • DrIndica

          What your god requires or defines is not necessarily the same as laws passed. The legal definition of homicide does not apply to embryos. If you don’t like the law, work to get it changed…but probably easier to complain about what you consider a problem than to find a solution.

          • LynnRH

            What my God requires and defines IS the Law. Just because IGNORANT humans make up their own laws here on earth doesn’t mean there won’t be serious consequences when they meet Him face to face. God’s definition of homicide DOES apply to the unborn. And I do not like the law that IGNORANT humans make and I do what I can to try to change those laws. I’m NOT one of those that just sit back and complain.

          • DrIndica

            God’s law is for the intellectually lazy and/or emotionally weak.

          • LynnRH

            I am not lazy in any way shape or form and I am not weak but very strong emotionally for your information. The Holy Spirit makes me that way. That is why I stand up for what it right and against what is wrong according to Jehovah God. I know you don’t want to be prayed for but you will be…..like it or not!

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Women’s March Protesters Follow Leaders Right Off Ledge Into Potomac River
    January 20, 2018

    • DrIndica

      Can’t have women demanding rights and equal respect as men, can we? She needs to get back in the kitchen and grab me a beer.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        FOUL MOUTHED WOMEN MARCHERS SPIT, THROW FISTS…

        my …. how “lady-like” ……….. guess its a good thing they legalized “gay marriage” as these women now act like men …………..

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        cant force anyone to have respect for those who do not act respectable …………

      • ReadsALot

        Drindica I used to be a radical card carrying feminist pro abortion leftist until I realized how wrong that all was so I know the drivel you think. SHUT UP and GROW UP!

        • DrIndica

          I grew up when I rejected what you call god in deference to reason

          • ReadsALot

            My life changed for the better when I opened up my heart to Him.
            I feel so sorry for you cause I used to think like you do. I’ve prayed for you.

  • peanut butter

    Unwanted pregnancies can be stopped only by teaching morality. That teaching has gone with the wind.