Life Advocacy Briefing

July 29, 2019

Title X (Ten) Rule Fallout / Illinois Taxpayers Put on Hook
Bureaucracy’s Pace / Candidate Watch / Court Watch
Just When You Thought You’d Heard It All! / Shock Wave

Title X (Ten) Rule Fallout

THE NEW H.H.S. RULE excluding from federal Title X (Ten) “family planning” funds any grantee or contractor which commits or refers for abortion is reverberating through the abortion industry, which has customarily used birth-control dispensing as a means of attracting clients and fostering promiscuity as an abortion marketing tool.

When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently refused to grant a temporary injunction against the rule, Planned Parenthood announced it would get along without the $60 million in federal funding it has been drawing from Title X, rather than abandon the abortion side of its business; its announcement followed a declaration by Planned Parenthood of Illinois – the first outfit to react to the stunning ruling out of the 9th Circuit – that it would forego Title X funding but, reports the Associated Press (AP), “would accept program funds again if the rule were lifted.”

Planned Parenthood is not alone. An outfit in Maine, which AP writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar calls “a major provider,” announced July 16 “it is dropping out of the program after nearly 50 years. Others,” Mr. Zaldivar forecasts, “may follow.”

Said Maine Family Planning president George Hill, quoted by Mr. Zaldivar, “‘It is objectionable that the federal government is so arrogant as to dictate what our medical professionals can and cannot say to our patients.’” Even though the taxpayers – through that same “federal government” – has been paying the bill? The abortion promoter is evidently so perturbed at such claimed injustice that he told AP “his organization will return any unused federal money and try to replace $2 million in annual government funding with fundraising efforts and its own resources.” All that extra fundraising effort, tut-tut, just to hold on to its precious abortion connection.

“Ahead of a planned conference with the clinics,” writes Mr. Zaldivar, “the Dept. of Health & Human Services formally notified them that it will begin enforcing [the] new regulation banning abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement,” he notes, “that both kinds of facilities cannot share physical space would take effect next year.”

The HHS office which doles out our money for Title X programs “had no immediate reaction to Maine Family Planning’s decision to leave the federal program,” notes AP. The Maine outfit maintains “a network of clinics around the state,” writes Mr. Zaldivar, where it “serves about 23,000 people a year.”

The Trump Administration’s rule, notes Mr. Zaldivar, permits “clinic staff … to discuss abortion with clients along with other options. However,” he writes, “that would no longer be required. …

“The Trump Administration’s policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation,” notes AP, “that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although,” states Mr. Zaldivar, “the Supreme Court ruled it was appropriate.” It was under the regime of Pres. Bill Clinton (D), reports AP, that “a new rule took effect requiring ‘nondirective’ counseling to include a full range of options for women. The Trump Administraton is now rolling back the Clinton requirement.” A good start.


Illinois Taxpayers Put on Hook

ILLINOIS’s NEW, EVEN-MORE RADICAL GOVERNOR, billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker, reacted to the disqualification of Planned Parenthood of Illinois from Title X (Ten) federal funding with a vow to “fund most of those clinics itself,” reports Karen Pierog for Reuters, saddling beleaguered Illinois taxpayers with abortion referral funding to add to the Medicaid abortion burden the state’s taxpayers were forced to shoulder under legislation signed by his liberal GOP predecessor.

Gov. Pritzker “said the state would forgo all federal Title X funding,” writes Ms. Pierog, “while the Trump Administration continues to impose its restriction – branded by critics as a ‘gag rule’ designed to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options.

“Instead, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health will provide state funding,” reports Reuters, attributing the announcement to the governor, “to the 28 local clinics that normally receive Title X funding through the agency, making up for an estimated $2.4 million in federal dollars they otherwise stand to lose for the rest of the fiscal year. …

“The Illinois Republican Party denounced [Mr.] Pritzker’s willingness to turn away federal funding of ‘non-abortion-related medical care for women and girls,’” reports Reuters, “‘because of his [the governor’s] unrivaled zeal for forced taxpayer funding of abortions.’

“At least two other states, Maryland and Massachusetts,” reports Ms. Pierog, “took similar pre-emptive countermeasures months ago, enacting legislation,” she notes, “to temporarily opt out of Title X if the new rule takes effect and to provide state funding in its place.” And, she adds, “The Democratic governors of four other states – New York, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state – threatened to end participation in Title X.”


Bureaucracy’s Pace

THE CRISIS THAT HAS BESET PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s MANAGEMENT – how to replace $60 million in federal tax dollars the abortion goliath has been draining off taxpayers through Title X “family planning” grants – turns out not to be so urgent after all. After announcing immediate enforcement of the Trump Administration’s Protect Life rule disqualifying abortionists from Title X (Ten), the Health & Human Services Department a week ago “revealed,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, “it would delay enforcement” of the celebrated rule, “giving abortion-involved facilities more time to comply with the regulations.”

Though the rule is in effect, the Department “sent out notices,” reports Mr. Freiburger, citing the Associated Press as source, “that HHS ‘does not intend to bring enforcement actions’ right away against facilities making ‘good-faith efforts to comply.’ … Instead,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “the Administration will require facilities to submit a plan for how they intend to comply with the rules in August, demonstrate implementation of most of the new rules by mid-September, and have their health centers and abortion facilities physically separated by March 2020.”

But Mr. Freiburger predicts “the delay appears unlikely to make a long-term difference.” Outfits like Planned Parenthood would rather forego the $60 million in federal funds than take abortion away from its promiscuity-pushing “family planning” operations. And, after all, it is no doubt already using the big news of the Title X cut-off to cry wolf to its well-heeled donors.

“Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “shows the organization not only enjoyed almost a billion dollars in annual private revenue and contributions but that it will continue to receive over $500 million from taxpayers even without the Title X money.”

Still, once the rule is actually enforced by the HHS Department, disqualifying abortionists from Title X funding is a good start, one which conservatives in Congress have sought to achieve for more than a decade. Talk about “draining the swamp!”


Candidate Watch

  • FIRST-TERM U.S. REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX) WILL BE CHALLENGED in the 2020 general election, it appears, by the notorious Wendy Davis – that is, if the darling of the abortion lobby is nominated by her Democratic Party in the SanAntonio district over at least two other candidates who have filed their intent.  Ms. Davis is best known as the then-State Senator who filibustered a celebrated Texas pro-life bill during the legislature’s 2013 session. She was her party’s nominee for governor in 2014 but was soundly defeated by Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Rep. Roy has already distinguished himself as a conservative Member of Congress, but his narrow victory in 2018 has drawn national attention to the district as a potential Democratic pick-up in 2020.  Ms. Davis’s candidacy announcement ensures a brisk campaign on both sides in the 21st District. Commented a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, quoted in, “‘It’s beyond parody that Wendy Davis is attempting to make her political comeback in a district she lost by 20 points last time around,’” in the gubernatorial contest. “‘Texans resoundingly rejected Davis and her socialist agenda five years ago and will do so again in 2020.’ … While left-wing figures declared her a hero for ‘women’s rights,’” notes Calvin Freiburger, “pro-lifers seized on her subsequent comments, such as claiming that women who oppose late-term abortion ‘don’t really understand’ the issue, and admitting she was largely ignorant about the case of Kermit Gosnell’s largely unregulated abortion business.”


Court Watch

  • A FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKED THREE ARKANSAS PRO-LIFE LAWS last Tuesday, the day before they were to take effect. District Judge Kristine Baker was appointed to the bench by then-Pres. Barack Obama. One of the laws bars abortions more than 18 weeks into a baby’s gestation; the second forbids abortion of babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, and the third, according to Calvin Freiburger of, “requires abortionists to have OB/GYN certifications.” So much for taking abortion out of the back alley! The lawsuit challenging the duly enacted statutes was brought by the ACLU for Planned Parenthood.


Just When You Thought You’d Heard It All!

July 17, 2019, analysis by Madeleine Kearns in National Review’s The Corner

            Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, was fired yesterday in a “secret meeting.” Wen, who has been in the position for less than a year, explained on Twitter that the decision had been “based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”

            What “philosophical” differences? BuzzFeed reports an example: “Two sources told BuzzFeed News that Wen also refused to use “trans-inclusive” language, for example saying “people” instead of “women” and telling staff that she believed talking about transgender issues would “isolate people in the Midwest.”

            Wen, who is a medical doctor, has a different approach. “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a healthcare one, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights by finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental health care that it is,” she said.

            In terms of strategy, Wen is likely correct. According to Gallup’s most recent polling from May of this year, the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal “only in certain circumstances.” Another poll shows that 49% identify as pro-life versus 46% who identify as pro-choice. So, while among political elites abortion has become a tool used to entrench division, among the general public the attitude still seems to be, as the old slogan went, “safe, legal and rare.”

            Wen is also right to be skeptical of incorporating gender ideology into Planned Parenthood’s mission. According to its own slogans, Planned Parenthood is America’s number-one provider of “women’s health care,” which means it really ought to be able to define and identify the category of women.

            Whatever else one may think of her, Wen is a medical doctor with a scientific approach. But gender ideology, which is profoundly anti-scientific, proclaims that anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman. The comedian Steven Crowder (of YouTube notoriety) recently tested this out. “We wanted to see just how all-in they are,” Crowder said. Posing as a transgender woman called Stephanie, Crowder purchases Plan B at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Given that Crowder has not undergone any surgeries for this role, he is quite clearly a man in a wig. But the nurse handed it over – no problem. For a man, Plan B is not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous, causing infertility, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.

            Next Crowder scheduled a pregnancy test and a follow-up at a different Planned Parenthood clinic. For good measure, he takes the urine of an actually pregnant woman with him to submit as his own. But while a positive pregnancy test for a woman generally means she’s pregnant, for a man it can mean he has testicular cancer. He has the following conversation with a nurse practitioner:

Nurse practitioner: Were you assigned a female at birth? Sex at birth? Crowder: Do you mean was I misgendered by a doctor when I was born? Nurse practitioner: Did they consider you a female when you were born? Crowder: I was misgendered at birth, yeah. Nurse practitioner: I mean, do you have … um … ovaries? A vagina? Crowder: Let me make it really clear that I am not a woman in a man’s body. I am a woman. I’ve always been a woman. And I’m currently living as a woman. So, they did identify me; they misgendered me as a male when I was born. Nurse practitioner: Okay, okay. Crowder: Are these questions that are asked of every woman who comes in here? Nurse practitioner: Yes. Crowder: If they have ovaries? If they take testosterone? Nurse practioner: Yeah. I’m asking what are the medications that you take.

            Crowder points out that even this falls short of Planned Parenthood’s own guidelines related to transgender people, which states that staff must treat transgender patients in complete accordance with their “authentic gender.” Nevertheless, after his indignation, the nurse checks Crowder out for a follow-up, as if she really believed that he was a pregnant woman. No mention is made of the fact that – as a male – a positive pregnancy test could mean that he has a life-threatening disease.

            As Planned Parenthood continues to overreach, firing its president who is more in step with the American public, in order to pursue and promote the progressive agenda wholesale, it may well backfire. Let’s hope so.


Shock Wave

July 18, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            The news wasn’t just a shock to the country, it was a shock to Wen herself. “I just learned that the PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting,” she tweeted. “We were engaged in good-faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” That “good faith” ended abruptly when the president of America’s abortion giant found out she was fired.

            One of those philosophical differences, sources say, is that Wen happens to believe women’s health care is for, well, women. “Two sources told BuzzFeedNews that Wen refused to use ‘trans-inclusive’ language – for example, saying ‘people’ instead of ‘women’ and telling staff that she believed talking about transgender issues would ‘isolate people in the Midwest.’” Not to mention that as a physician, Wen knows better than anyone: men can’t get pregnant.

            Another sore spot between Wen and the board may have been her reluctance to make abortion hyper-political. “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue – but a healthcare one – and that we can expand support for reproductive rights by finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental health care that it is,” she said. Obviously, her idea didn’t play well in a group that dumped more than $30 million into 2016 campaigns like Hillary Clinton’s.

            Now, with Pres. Trump causing major upheaval of his own with the new Title X rules, the Planned Parenthood board has decided that it wants a pit bull – not a doctor – to wage its war on women (or, to be more “inclusive,” war on people). While it looks for a new leader – something the group is putting off until after the 2020 elections – it has plenty of other headaches to contend with, including the President’s family planning laws. Thanks to the 9th Circuit Court, several of the group’s local facilities are about to feel a major squeeze on their bank accounts. As of Monday, HHS started enforcing the new ban on abortion referrals from offices that get family planning funds – a decision that could cost Wen’s former group as much as $60 million.

            House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) celebrated the decision on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch.” “Think about it – how often do we get to talk about a victory in the 9th Circuit, of all places? Fortunately, many times now we’ve talked about victories at the Supreme Court level – and in no small part [that’s due to] two great new Members that Donald Trump has put [there]. But even in the 9th Circuit, that tells you how … well put together the President’s rule was.”

            Already the protests are streaming in from states who’ve gotten used to the lucrative checks. Faced with separating abortion from “family planning,” Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide have abandoned the program altogether. “We are not going to comply,” group lobbyist Jacqueline Ayers protested. In Illinois, the local network walked away from the family planning money – more content to stick with Planned Parenthood’s cash cow, abortion. Maine, Vermont and New York City are either leaning that way or have made it official. For Big Apple Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D), the price of his abortion allegiances is steep. By dropping out of the Title X program, they’re losing $1.3 million in taxpayer funds.

            Is the Left imploding? Faced with unprecedented political and cultural resistance, groups like Planned Parenthood look vulnerable for the first time in a long time. Liberals in likeminded groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center are being exposed to a level of scrutiny and opposition that’s unparalleled for them. And it’s testing their mettle and applying stress in a way that’s quite unflattering. Earlier this year, SPLC – which has long had free rein in the government, media and our schools – experienced almost cataclysmic setbacks. They, like Planned Parenthood, had been emboldened by the Obama years. Now their media-inflated image has overreached, put the public’s tolerance to a test – and lost. SPLC’s hypocrisy was exposed after the ouster of its racist and sexist founder, Morris Dees, and president Richard Cohen. Now, faced with an Administration that’s committed – not just to pro-life rhetoric but establishing a pro-life record – Planned Parenthood has been put back on its heels. How long can it survive? In this growing pro-life wave, no one is quite sure.