Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst led Republican senators in sending a Monday letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services not to use Title X funds to support programs that provide abortions, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The GOP lawmakers urged HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to reconsider a proposed rule that “would allow Title X funds to support programs where abortion is a method of family planning, contrary to law, and impose onerous and illegal mandates for Title X projects to counsel and refer for abortion.”
The letter comes in response to action by President Joe Biden to undo a Trump administration rule prohibiting Title X funds from going to organizations that perform or promote abortions.
Former President Donald Trump issued an order in July 2019 stripping Title X funding from family planning clinics that refer women for abortions. Organizations that performed abortions or made abortion referrals had to do so in separate buildings from those that received federal funds.
Biden quickly took steps to reverse the policy. In a Jan. 28 executive order, the new president ordered HHS to perform a review of Title X family planning regulations.
The Biden administration’s new rule eliminates the required separation of Title X programs and abortion providers.
“Abortion is not family planning; it is family destruction,” the senators wrote.
“The Proposed Rule … would siphon tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in Title X funding towards Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, to the detriment of American taxpayers, the consciences of health care providers, and the lives of unborn children.”
Thirty-three Republican senators cosigned the letter, including Josh Hawley of Missouri, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
The letter is also supported by a number of pro-life groups, Ernst’s office said, including the Susan B. Anthony List and the March for Life, as well as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Ernst also introduced legislation in April that would prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood and instead direct those funds to other eligible women’s health care providers. The bill ensures that there is no reduction in federal funding for women’s health services.
“We must always fight to protect the most vulnerable of our society, the unborn,” Ernst told the DCNF in April. “Sadly, President Biden is working to reverse a rule from the previous administration that prevented taxpayer money from going toward abortion providers.”
Republican senators called on the Department of Justice last May to investigate reports that dozens of Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and received over $80 million in coronavirus funding “despite actual knowledge that they were ineligible for such loans.”
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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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