- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 15, 2021

Republican lawmakers on Thursday proposed new legislation to block federal funding from reaching the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood, as the Biden administration looks to undo Trump administration rules that restricted funds to abortion providers.

Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and John Kennedy of Louisiana said their “Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act” would prevent taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood without infringing on federal funding for women’s health care services.

“America is home to many health care providers that deliver essential medical services to women, but Planned Parenthood is not one of them,” Mr. Kennedy said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood remains more concerned with ending unborn lives than protecting vulnerable women. The Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act would allow women’s health care providers to continue providing crucial care and make sure that Louisiana taxpayers aren’t bankrolling America’s largest abortion mill against their will.”

The Health and Human Services Department on Thursday published a proposed rule to change the Trump administration’s rules about standards for compliance by family planning services projects authorized under Title X of the Public Health Service Act.

Former President Trump’s administration restricted the flow of taxpayer dollars to those who refer women for abortions. The Biden administration wants to undo Mr. Trump’s rules.

“Those rules have undermined the public health of the population the program is meant to serve,” HHS said of its new rules on Thursday. “The Department proposes to revise the 2019 rules by readopting the 2000 regulations, with several modifications needed to strengthen the program and ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for all clients, especially for low-income clients.”

Ms. Ernst called the Biden administration’s new effort sad.

“Iowans should not be forced to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, the nation’s single largest provider of abortions, and this legislation will help put an end to this practice and redirect those funds to eligible women’s health care providers,” Ms. Ernst said in a statement.

Democrats control Congress and have no intention of entertaining Ms. Ernst and Mr. Kennedy’s legislation. Previously, Ms. Ernst introduced the Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act in 2019 with 34 GOP cosponsors, and it went nowhere. 

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