By: Jackson Milton
Joe Biden is fulfilling his pledge to dismantle recent Pro-Life achievements from the Oval Office. During the Trump administration, the president created a rule that banned federally funded clinics from referring patients for abortions, effectively eliminating abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from the taxpayer-funded family planning program known as Title X. Biden, however, instituted new rules earlier this month in which the abortion industry nationwide will once again receive Title X taxpayer funds to the tune of $60 million starting November 8, including in Texas.
A product of a 1970 amendment to the Public Health Service Act, the Title X program exists to assist families in avoiding pregnancies—that is, Title X mainly provides contraception to low-income individuals. While Title X funding can’t directly pay for elective abortions, no policy prevents the program from funneling money to entities that provide contraception and “just so happen” to also commit abortions. Thus, although a grant or payment is designated for one purpose (in this case, avoiding pregnancy), the additional funding frees up money in abortion businesses’ budgets to subsidize more abortions.
Like most policies entangled with elective abortion, Title X funding has been a political seesaw. Who resides in the White House largely determines whether or not the abortion industry collects a beefy Title X check from the federal government. President Reagan first pioneered Pro-Life guidelines to shut the abortion industry out of the Title X program. In the time after, when Bill Clinton controlled the administrative state, he rescinded the policy, addressing payments to Planned Parenthood et al.’s already blooming bank accounts. President Trump instituted Pro-Life requirements very similar to those under President Reagan. They forced the abortion industry out of the program. (President Bush, unfortunately, did not create Pro-Life rules for the Title X program in the intervening period.)
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, received approximately $60 million per year until President Trump terminated the arrangement. However, this sum, while prodigious, is only one-tenth of their total haul of taxpayer dollars, over $500 million of which is Medicaid reimbursements. Clearly, ensuring the Title X program is free from the stain of abortion is just a start—tackling Medicaid reimbursements likely requires congressional action—but Biden’s work has unraveled even that small progress.
In May, Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to start the laborious bureaucratic process of reversing President Trump’s Title X rules. The Pro-Life movement knew where the process would inescapably end—all steps involved in the process were mere formalities. Biden promised to govern like an abortion fanatic, and on this promise he has delivered. The new Title X rules, which HHS promulgated earlier this month, will allow the abortion industry to once again receive funding beginning on November 8.
The result didn’t have to be this way: Historically, the feds tasked state governments with distributing Title X funding to family planning and preventive service providers. So, while abortion providers could secure Title X funding, they don’t necessarily have to since individual states could establish their own Title X funding policies. That’s precisely what Texas did in 2011, passing a state budget that stops Title X funding from benefiting the abortion industry. Barack Obama noticed, so two years later, his administration awarded Title X funding not to Texas but to an independent entity that would send money to Planned Parenthood and company. That arrangement has not ended, which means Biden’s move will open Title X funding to the abortion industry in Texas once more.
For much of the country, Joe Biden is the predominant reason we can’t have nice things. He has not “shut down the virus.” Afghanistan is now ruled by the Taliban. Checkbooks are stretched thin. Even your Christmas presents are sitting in a container on a ship in the Pacific and unlikely to arrive on time. Many of these problems are results of Biden’s failures. However, he has not failed in his commitment to abandon preborn children, pregnant mothers, and the policies that would enable their flourishing. His hostility to Life hasn’t wavered, matching the most radical elements of his political party. Title X is just the start.