North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein has pulled the Tarheel state into a multi-state suit challenging the Trump Administrations ‘Protect Life Rule‘ as part of Title X.
“Title X clinics screen for cancer, prevent unintended pregnancies, and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections,” said Attorney General Josh Stein in a press release. “These are critical healthcare services that change and save lives. This proposed gag rule would prevent women in North Carolina from making the healthcare decisions that allow them to lead happy, healthy lives.”
The national suit was filed March 4 by 20 other states and District of Columbia with California filing its own version. North Carolina will be the only state in the south to join the suit.
The other states involved are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All of the states involved have Democratic attorney generals.
“North Carolina Values Coalition supports the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which redirects Title X family planning program funds away from the abortion industry and bars taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers,” said Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director.
“Abortion is not family planning,” added Fitzgerald. “Yet by joining the State in this lawsuit, Governor Cooper and Attorney General Stein have taken an extreme pro-abortion position that taxpayers should support abortion providers like Planned Parenthood with their tax dollars.”
Attorney General Stein’s press release falsely claims that “healthcare providers in any clinic that receives Title X funding will be barred from referring a patient for an abortion, even if the patient requests the information, and in many circumstances, from even discussing an abortion with a patient.”
In 2018, multiple media outlets also got the details of the rule quite wrong with claims it brings back Reagan’s prohibition on counseling for abortion, known as the so-called “gag rule.” For example, almost a year later, the Associated Press still has not revised their article.
While the rule does block direct referrals to abortion providers, the counseling/materials must be “non-directive.” In other words, the Title X recipient organization can include providers who perform abortions in literature or referrals.
Under the Protect Life rule change, Title X recipients are required to follow state laws for reporting suspected child sexual abuse and rape. One of the biggest offenders of under or non-reporting of these crimes is Planned Parenthood.
North Carolina’s Attorney General also claims that the rule will force “healthcare providers to refer every pregnant patient for prenatal care, regardless of the needs or the wishes of the patient.” There is no language forcing a referral in the rule, but the provider may provide a list that includes prenatal care:
The Title X provider may provide a list of licensed, qualified, comprehensive primary health care providers (including providers of prenatal care), some (but not the majority) of which may provide abortion in addition to comprehensive primary care. (Source: Federal Register)
The Protect Life Rule bars Title X family planning grants from going to recipient organizations unless those organizations are physically and financially separate from abortion providers.
None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. (Source: Title X Final Rule Notice)
Specifically, the rule does not include abortion as “a method of family planning.”
Critics and filers of the national lawsuit against the new rule say this will harm Planned Parenthood preventative care ability, but that might not be the case.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s single largest abortion provider, already receiving over $500 million a year in taxpayer funds.
A report compiled by the Family Research Council shows that the organization’s preventative care has been decreasing for years.
The Family Research Council report states that between 2009 to 2017, “cancer screening and prevention programs have consistently decreased by close to two-thirds (66 percent).” During that same time period, the report says that prenatal services decreased by more than 77 percent.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s 2017-2018 report shows that abortion accounted for 96 percentof the services offered to pregnant women. Adoption referrals were just 1 percent and prenatal services just 3 percent.
“In 2017, Planned Parenthood committed 117 abortions for every adoption referral it made,” states the Family Research Council report.
An estimated 2.2 million abortions were performed by Planned Parenthood between 2011 and 2017. According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, 332,757 abortions were performed in 2017. That’s nearly 912 abortions a day.
– – –