Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

Planned Parenthood defunding effort targets Trump

Abortion | Pro-life groups urge the president to block family planning grants for abortion providers
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 5/07/18, 01:08 pm

Pro-life advocates launched a campaign last week aimed at persuading the Trump administration to stop sending Title X family planning program funds to pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood.

On Monday, 41 U.S. senators and 153 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, saying the Title X’s regulations “are sorely in need of reform” while urging him to return the program to its roots.

They want Azar to rescind a regulation requiring recipients of Title X funds to refer women to an abortion provider and end the policy allowing Title X health clinics to be “co-located” with abortion centers. Planned Parenthood takes in about $60 million a year in Title X funds.

“It is time for the Title X funding stream for Planned Parenthood to be turned off,” the lawmakers wrote.

A second letter to Azar, sent the next day by the leaders of 85 pro-life groups, also urged him to “disentangle abortion centers from the Title X network.” They pointed to the original intent of the Title X statute, which states funds must not go to programs “where abortion is a method of family planning.”

Three pro-abortion groups filed suit immediately on the heels of the letters, saying the “unexplained and unjustified changes” could bring “devastating, irreparable harms to the very patients Title X was meant to help.”

The Reagan Administration first cut Title X funding from abortion providers in 1988, a move the Supreme Court upheld in 1991.

Pro-life leaders told me they are confident the Trump administration will follow suit, and Axios reported that President Donald Trump is considering the move.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of The Susan B. Anthony List and a strong Trump supporter, spearheaded the effort on behalf of pro-life organizations. SBA List communications director Mallory Quigley told me the move comes after Congress failed to defund Planned Parenthood last year.

“Abortion is not healthcare, so this is really an easy decision, one that we are confident the president and his administration will make,” Quigley said.

Jonathan Alexandre, director of public policy for Liberty Counsel, told me Planned Parenthood not only uses its Title X funds to promote abortion, but also for “comprehensive sex-ed curriculums, which teach children at an earlier age more offensive sexual conduct.”

Alexandre also pointed to Planned Parenthood’s own reports, which, despite the organization’s claims that abortion makes up only 3 percent of all it does, show services such as cancer screenings continue to drop while abortion numbers remain strong.

“At its core, Planned Parenthood has demonstrated time and time again that it does not provide the services that Americans need,” Alexandre said. “It only provides the services that pad its bottom line and feed its abortion machine. It’s a multi-million dollar corporation that seeks to expand its political power and advance its abortion-propagating goals.”

Associated Press/Photo by Frank Franklin II Associated Press/Photo by Frank Franklin II Abortionist Robert Rho walks toward a courtroom at Queens County Criminal Court in New York.

Abortionist pleads guilty

New York abortionist Robert Rho, who claims to have killed 40,000 unborn babies, pleaded guilty last week to criminal negligence in the death of Jaime Lee Morales, a 30-year-old woman who bled to death in 2016 after one of his procedures.

Morales was 25 weeks pregnant when she came to Rho for an abortion. After the procedure, Morales staggered and passed out in the lobby of Rho’s office due to blood loss from lacerations in her uterine aorta, uterine wall, and cervix. Despite her condition, Rho discharged her and sent her home with her sister.

She passed out in the car and later died at a local hospital.

The 53-year-old abortionist could face up to four years in prison under his plea deal, which spared him the possible 15 years he faced on the original second-degree manslaughter charge. His attorney called the deal a “monumental victory” and surmised Rho will only spend a few months behind bars.

Americans United for Life applauded the verdict for bringing Morales’ family a little bit of justice. But the group also noted “the type of behavior described in the Rho trial—not following best medical practices, using untrained staff, failing to properly monitor vital signs, not maintaining a sterile environment, etc.—are all very common in abortion clinics across America.” —S.G.

Associated Press/Photo by Bob Levey Associated Press/Photo by Bob Levey David Daleiden enters a Houston courtroom in 2016.

Pro-abortion judge to preside over Daleiden trial

Despite the best efforts of attorneys representing undercover pro-life activist David Daleiden, pro-abortion U.S. District Judge William Orrick will continue to preside over his trial. Daleiden faces a lawsuit from the National Abortion Federation over secret videos he took to expose Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal fetal tissue trade.

The Thomas More Society reported last week that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to remove Orrick, despite claims he is biased in favor of Planned Parenthood. Orrick served as a board member for the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center in San Francisco, which provides space for a Planned Parenthood abortion center.

Last year, lawyers for Daleiden requested Orrick recuse himself, but the judge denied the bias claims. He deferred the decision to a clerk-appointed judge, James Donato, who sided with Orrick. Daleiden’s lawyers appealed the decision in December.

Daleiden also recently lost the chance at a U.S. Supreme Court review of Orrick’s gag order on the remainder of the videos he took during the National Abortion Federation’s annual conventions in 2014 and 2015. —S.G.

YouTube censors abortion pill reversal videos

YouTube has suspended a pro-life group’s account for what it calls “repeated or severe violations of Community Guidelines.” The company took issue with four videos describing a progesterone treatment known to reverse the effects of chemical abortions. The videos posted to the Abortion Pill Reversal account also feature testimonies from women who kept their babies after beginning the chemical abortion process.

Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, which now runs the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, said his group has appealed the decision.

“We are confident that YouTube did not intend to silence a woman who was merely telling her own abortion story, simply because that story ended with a healthy baby boy,” he said. “We look forward to the account being restored quickly.” —S.G.

Iowa governor signs heartbeat bill

Flanked by mothers and their infants, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a bill to protect unborn babies after doctors can detect a heartbeat, which can be as early as six weeks gestation. Abortion advocates decried the move, and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said it plans to sue. Before signing the bill, Reynolds said she believes “all innocent life is precious and sacred,” and that “as governor, I have pledged to do everything in my power to protect it.” —S.G.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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