Letter to the Hon. Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services - Cassidy, Colleagues Urge Trump Administration to Issue New Title X Regulations


By: Liz Cheney, Evan Jenkins, Alex Mooney, David McKinley, Mike Gallagher, Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr., Cathy Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Morgan Griffith, Dave Brat, Bob Goodlatte, Tom Garrett, Jr., Rob Wittman, Mia Love, Chris Stewart, Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, Roger Williams, Kenny Marchant, Pete Olson, Jodey Arrington, Bill Flores, Randy Weber, Sr., Mike Conaway, Michael McCaul, Kevin Brady, John Culberson, Jeb Hensarling, John Ratcliffe, Sam Johnson, Ted Poe, David Kustoff, Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Phil Roe, Kristi Noem, Ralph Norman, Jr., Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Sr., Lloyd Smucker, Keith Rothfus, Lou Barletta, Bill Shuster, Mike Kelly, Jr., Steve Russell, Tom Cole, Jim Renacci, Mike Turner, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Jim Jordan, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Claudia Tenney, Steve Pearce, Chris Smith, Adrian Smith, Donald Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry, Kevin Cramer, Ted Budd, Mark Meadows, Patrick McHenry, Robert Pittenger, Richard Hudson, Jr., David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Jr., Greg Gianforte, Steven Palazzo, Gregg Harper, Trent Kelly, Jason Smith, Billy Long, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ann Wagner, Tom Emmer, Paul Mitchell, Mike Bishop, Tim Walberg, Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Andy Harris, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins, Steve Scalise, Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, James Comer, Jr., Ron Estes, Kevin Yoder, Lynn Jenkins, Roger Marshall, Larry Bucshon, Luke Messer, Todd Rokita, Jim Banks, Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Randy Hultgren, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, Peter Roskam, Dan Lipinski, Raúl Labrador, Steve King, Tom Graves, Jr., Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Doug Collins, Austin Scott, Rob Woodall, Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Francis Rooney, Gus Bilirakis, Daniel Webster, Bill Posey, Ron DeSantis, John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Duncan Hunter, Dana Rohrabacher, Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao, Tom McClintock, Doug LaMalfa, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Bruce Westerman, Rick Crawford, Gary Palmer, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, Martha Roby, Bradley Byrne, Bill Cassidy
Date: April 30, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Reproduction

Dear Secretary Azar,

We urge you to review and update the regulations governing the Title X Family Planning Program to ensure program integrity with respect to abortion. Section 1008 of the Public Health Service Act clearly states that no federal funds appropriated for Title X for family-planning services "shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning." However, the program's current regulations (42 CFR 59) undermine the law.

Specifically, the current Clinton-era regulations require grantees to refer pregnant women for abortion (42 CFR 59.5(a)(5)(i)(C)) and allow Title X clinics to co-locate with abortion clinics-in some cases utilizing the same waiting rooms, staff, and facilities. Title X programs which are co-located with abortion clinics or refer for abortion send a message that abortion is considered a method of family planning in federally-funded family planning programs, contrary to the law.

We ask that you restore the regulations issued on February 2, 1988 (53 FR 2922), which clarified that Title X programs may not promote, counsel, or refer clients for abortion or collocate or combine family planning services with abortion activities. These rules required not only complete financial separation, but also physical separation of abortion activities from Title X service sites and separate personnel. These rules were upheld by the Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173 (1991).

We applaud the states that have acted on Congress' 2017 legislation overturning an Obama-era Title X rule (P.L. 115-23) by redirecting these funds from abortion entities like Planned Parenthood towards community health centers that provide more comprehensive health services for women, but not abortion. Nevertheless, we urge the administration to do more.

Therefore, we request swift action to issue new regulations for the Title X program. These new regulations should ensure program integrity by requiring a robust and complete separation of abortion activities from federally funded family planning activities. Any programs failing to achieve this standard should not receive federal funding.