May 23, 2018

The Title X cuts are here

A man holds a "Defund Planned Parenthood" sign

Pro-life marchers in Washington, DC. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

As promised, the Health and Human Services Department has officially released new regulations that would cut off federal family-planning funds to any entity that performs abortions. That includes — but is not limited to — Planned Parenthood.

How it works: The policy, in its own words, "would prohibit recipients from using Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning."

  • Right now, a clinic is allowed to perform functions that are funded by Title X, and also to perform abortions — it just can't use the Title X money to cover the costs of its abortion services.
  • Under these new rules, those two functions could not share any physical resources — buildings, personnel, or even electronic health records systems.

What to watch: There will be a lengthy back-and-forth of revisions and public comments before these rules are finalized. But abortion-rights advocates will be suing over this policy any minute now, touching off what will surely be a protracted and intense legal battle.

  • On the right, meanwhile, Trump is correct to call this a "promise kept." Social conservatives have gotten just about everything they had hoped for from this administration.
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