United States: federal funds no longer used to fund abortion clinics

Publié le 11 Jun, 2018

This law dates back to former President Ronald Reagan, but has never been applied (see United States: strengthening the Mexico policy). Today, the US Secretary of Health unveils the new policy banning family planning clinics from carrying out or even encouraging abortions. Failure to comply could lead to the removal of funding. In practice, this goes back to separating establishments dedicated to family planning (receiving funding) from those practising abortions (without funding).


Planned Parenthood clinics are currently authorised to receive funding in the form of Title X[1] grants but are obliged to allocate this to family planning as US law prohibits the funding of abortions. “Federal family planning funds cannot be used to finance abortions”.


Abortion opponents say that federal funding received by family planning clinics is nevertheless being used to illegally finance abortions. “Abortion opponents allege that the federal family planning programme is, in fact, funding abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood, whose clinics are also the main beneficiaries of grants for family planning and basic preventive treatments”.


Today, Title X finances the family planning of four million women every year in Planned Parenthood centres, which costs taxpayers 260 million dollars. However, “a family planning programme financed by taxpayers should have no connection with abortion” and should not be used to finance abortion. “Abortion is not health care or birth control,” pointed out Kristan Hawkins from Students for Life of America.


In practice, if the “physical separation” between treatment establishments and abortion establishments takes effect, it will be easier to grant or deny funding. Planned Parenthood will have to choose between receiving Title X grants and performing abortions.


For further reading:

Donald Trump stops the financing of NGOs supporting abortion

New federal funding under Trump administration puts Planned Parenthood at a disadvantage


[1] Title X is a programme set up in 1970 to ensure access to reproductive and sexual healthcare services, such as contraception, pregnancy monitoring, screening and STI prevention.

Washington Times, Jill Colvin et Ricardo Alonso-Zalivar (18/05/2018)

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