By Margie Shealy, Christian Medical Association
WASHINGTON, DC – The 19,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today expressed support for administration plans to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens noted, “Taxpayers want their money to support healthcare, and abortion is not healthcare.
“The ‘Protect Life Rule’ proposed today should go a long way to ensuring that our tax dollars are not illegally propping up the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar industry that gets half a billion of our tax dollars and performs nearly a third of a million abortions per year, according to its own annual reports.
“Importantly, the new proposal also is expected to stop mandated referrals for abortions. Most pro-life physicians such as our members cannot refer for abortion, because of conscience and because abortion violates longstanding medical ethics such as the Hippocratic oath.
“True healthcare promotes health, healing and comfort. Abortion doesn’t maintain or improve the health of the mother or unborn child. Even in rare cases when a pregnant woman for health reasons may need her baby delivered early, it should never be done with the intent to kill her child.
“These tax dollars can go to many fine community and rural healthcare centers, which far outnumber the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and provide a vast array of quality, non-controversial and life-affirming healthcare services.”
Congress authorized the Title X program in 1970 to provide family planning services to low income women. The authorizing statute drew a bright line of separation between family planning and abortion: “None of the funds appropriated under this subchapter shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Current regulations in place since the Clinton administration require Title X grantees to refer pregnant women for abortion, and Title X grantees may be located in the same location as an abortion clinic. Title X is Planned Parenthood’s second-largest stream of federal funding. A 2018 GAO report indicated that Planned Parenthood receives approximately $56 million taxpayer dollars through Title X alone annually.
Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted a notice that it is reviewing a proposed rule governing the “statutory program integrity requirements” of the Title X family planning program. The text of the proposed rule is not yet available but reportedly requires a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning.