Congress Didn’t Defund Planned Parenthood. But Trump Can.

planned parenthood donations lavishBack home for Easter weekend, I’m hearing from plenty of Members of Congress. Their constituents weren’t happy with the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to begin with, but they’re irate that Congress co-signed another massive check to America’s largest abortion business.

The refrains on social media are all the same: Republicans control the Hill and the White House. Why aren’t they defunding Planned Parenthood? By now, the entire country has seen the ghoulish videos; they’ve heard the criminal evidence; they know these centers are destroying an innocent life every 98 seconds. They’re right to be upset. I am too. But we also need to remember the limits of the process. If pro-lifers want to do what a 51-member majority in the Senate can’t, it’s time to start thinking creatively.

First, Congressional Budgeting 101. Planned Parenthood gets the bulk of federal taxpayer funding from two pools: one that’s a discretionary program — Title X family planning — and others that are mandatory, like Medicare/Medicaid. It breaks down this way: Planned Parenthood gets about $80 million of the $286 million in Title X, but more than $400 million in reimbursements from mandatory programs like Medicaid. In both, there are areas that conservatives can attack — with or without Congress. There’s the statutory approach, which would mean passing a spending bill to defund Planned Parenthood (like the House did last year, only to watch it fall short of the 60 votes it needed in the Senate). Or they could tackle the funding for Planned Parenthood in mandatory programs through budget reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes. The Republican majority succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood on its 2015 health care repeal, but President Obama vetoed it. Last August, they tried again — only to fall short in the Senate.

The other approach to defund Planned Parenthood is regulatory. That’s where HHS comes in. If you want to know how powerful the agency is in directing government funds, think back to Obama. With a simple HHS regulation, he stopped all 50 states from defunding abortion providers under Title X. Fortunately, Congress overturned that rule last year, and more states are moving to cut ties with Richards’s group than ever.

Obviously, pro-lifers can’t change the situation in the Senate. Without a 60-vote majority, Republicans can only defund Planned Parenthood through the very strict reconciliation process. But, as Ben Domenech has been saying for three years, “There is a potential opportunity for an enterprising presidential candidate to draw a line in the sand on Planned Parenthood.” How? He explains:

Back in 1988, Ronald Reagan’s HHS announced an expanded interpretation of abortion funding prohibition regarding Title X funds, determining that no organization which encouraged or promoted abortion would receive federal funds. The left denounced this approach as a ‘gag rule’ and a potential First Amendment violation. This led to the case, several years later, of Rust v. Sullivan before the Supreme Court – which ultimately vindicated Reagan’s rule. But the policy was discarded during the Clinton presidency and never fully restored.

Right now, no organization is allowed to use the government’s family planning dollars for abortion. Planned Parenthood gets around that law, Domenech explains, by drawing an “artificial line” between its abortion clinics and its other family planning services — “even when those are located in the same facility, and essentially funded jointly.” If President Trump reinstated Reagan’s “co-location” rule, Planned Parenthood could still get Title X funds, but they wouldn’t be able to offer those services in the same clinics where they perform abortions. They’d have to split up their offices — probably at great expense. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood would be forced to choose between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars or moving those abortion operations offsite. Either way, it puts a major dent in the group’s bottom line.

What’s more, Yuval Levin pointed out when the reconciliation bill failed in 2015, “The Supreme Court has already vindicated Ronald Reagan’s rule on the matter, meaning that the next president could lawfully adopt the same approach to determining how these funds are distributed — and in one act dramatically undercut Planned Parenthood.” Lucky for us, that “next president” happens to be pro-life. And if he’s as frustrated with Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded piggy bank as the rest of us, this is one way he can do something big about it.

Conservatives will get another crack at Planned Parenthood’s federal gravy train — hopefully soon. Until then, $80 million they get under Title X is a major step to the ultimate goal: ending taxpayers’ forced partnership with abortion for good.

From - Family Research Council - by Tony Perkins

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4 years ago

I finally think I understand the problem. Thank you.

4 years ago

So many things the government should correct in our society but it drags its lazy feet always.

4 years ago

It is interesting how we do need to end the funding of murder by Planned Parenthood and we don’t have a say in it but the PP’s can support gun control so you can’t protect yourself from murder. Hummmmmmm! Trump can stop this just as he can put the military on the border to protect the border. It gets my vote and if you said anyone caught illegally at the border would be shot my guess these interlopers would understand it even if they can’t speak our language.

Thomas Haj
4 years ago

Planned barrenhood has never seen an abortion it didn’t like!

4 years ago

Congress is not representing the Conservative populace.

Martin Steed
4 years ago

I read this and I am confused. WHY does congress have to pass a specific bill to “defund” planned parenthood which then dies in the Senate because of the 60 vote thing. All spending must originate in the house of representatives. Why not just leave out any funding for planned parenthood by eliminating any mention of their name? How can the Senate vote down something that does not exist. The excuses made by members of the Republican Party are starting to be more and more difficult to pass the smell test.

Joe Edwards
4 years ago

Because of this I will not vote for our Senators or Congressman Buchanan!

John Bischop
4 years ago

Americans have the right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When an infant is in the womb, and it’s LIFE is in trouble, Good doctors sworn to protect LIFE, Step-in and assist the baby, as all good societies would want, along with their parents.
Mr President go into history as the president who restored our citizen’s (present and future) inalienable rights to LIFE, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, no matter what activity in life they are enjoying at the moment.
End also shoot to kill shots by policing agencies, and restore peace, and civil unrest by that one act alone.
Conclusion: Everyone has the inalienable right to Life, by God, recognized by our Constitution, and before a life is taken, by say a board of doctors, the grave threat the infant poses to society, should be explained by more than two witnesses, and the threat of the great unrepairable harm exposed and dealt with publicly and on record, rather than handled as a back room deal.
In pursuit of criminals, kill shots, should not exist by police, only shots to deflate and stop harm by lawbreakers. The norm of gunshots by police should deescalate situations first, and evident.

Martin Steed
4 years ago
Reply to  John Bischop

There has been a double standard for many years. Even in California where abortion was legal long before Roe v. Wade, if a person shot a pregnent woman and the “fetus” died, that person was charged with murder, yet a doctor terminating that same pregnancy was completely legal. Never made any sense to me. Only a politician or a lawyer has logic that works like that.

Bob H
4 years ago
Reply to  John Bischop

I totally agree, the main problem with America today is removing God from our everyday lives and making our own decisions of what is right or wrong. If you look back in American history all these issues have been addressed and ruled upon under the Constitution. Under the inalienable right to Life, nowhere does it say that life is protected after a certain week of conception. Today’s liberal America has turned the rights of Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness into what fits their individual lives and happiness includes their right to kill an unborn child because of the burden it may place on the mother’s life. What a sin and total travesty of justice !

4 years ago

Defund planned parenthood

4 years ago

The following is a link to the Presidents web page: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/contact/
Connect to the link and under the “contact us” section cut and paste this article from the highlighted section down and send it. I frequently use this link anytime I feel like voicing my opinion to the Pres. I’m not foolish enough to believe that he actually sees the messages but whoever among the underlings is in charge of this stuff should be passing along the content. Especially if they receive enough messages with the same content.

4 years ago
Reply to  CharlesW

Geez, i thought only liberals and millennials knew how to use all that computer -hit!

Burton Pauly
4 years ago

I hope Our Potus will consider taking the gov. funding away from the so-called planned parenthood. Because they don’t really want the women they dupe to have the privilege of being a parent. They just want to eliminate babies being born to their mothers. Over 60 million such abortions in our nation and growing . Please President Trump defund these murderous clinics ASAP.

Paula Conley
4 years ago


Paula Conley
4 years ago


4 years ago
Reply to  Paula Conley
4 years ago

I wonder how much of this that President Trump know about.

Paul W
4 years ago

Hopefully somebody in the administration reads this article. Time to end the government (read…us!) funding this abomination.

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