President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is beginning to reverse former President Donald Trump’s rules to reinstate taxpayer-funded abortion referrals.
According to an unpublished version of the 71-page proposal, the Biden administration will begin with a rule to revoke Trump’s changes to the family planning program, which sponsors contraception for low-income families, on Thursday. Under Trump, providers receiving federal money were prohibited from referring patients to abortion facilities and ordered that any benefactors of the grants should remain “physically and financially separate from facilities that perform abortions.” The Biden administration, however, claimed that these restrictions “undermined the public health of the population the program is meant to serve” and should be rescinded immediately.
“The Department proposes to revise the 2019 rules by readopting the 2000 regulations, with several modifications needed to strengthen the program and ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for all clients, especially for low-income clients,” the proposal states.
The proposal also argues that certain state restrictions on “subrecipient eligibility unrelated to the ability to deliver Title X services undermine the mission of the program” and asked for public comment to “ensure that Title X projects do not undermine the program’s mission by excluding otherwise qualified providers as subrecipients.”
HHS’s proposed changes met backlash from pro-life advocates, which condemned the rule for characterizing abortion as family planning.
“From day one, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have worked to pay back the abortion lobby that spent millions to elect them,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Coming on the heels of the Biden FDA’s refusal to enforce safety regulations on dangerous abortion drugs, plus Biden’s efforts to undermine the Supreme Court, their latest push to bail out the abortion industry proves there is no rule they won’t rewrite or simply ignore to get their way. President Trump’s Protect Life Rule respected both the plain statutory language of Title X and the strong majority of Americans who oppose using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion on demand. Abortion is not ‘family planning’ and Biden-Harris Democrats pursue this extreme, unpopular agenda at their political peril.”