Your Money on Their Terms:
Abortion Providers and the State Budget
Health Care, YES. Abortion, NO.
This policy briefing is based in part on Cornerstone’s August 21 op-ed in NH Journal.
Abortion providers, the state budget, and federal policy are coming together as legislators and Governor Sununu continue their negotiations on a new state budget.
One issue to be resolved in light of recent news:
Should abortion providers get state money when their customary source of federal money is still available?
Cornerstone advises NO. Legislators who answer to abortion providers are ready to say YES.
At issue is a federal family planning program called Title X.
For a summary of the situation, READ ON BELOW:
What is Title X?
Title X is a federal Health and Human Services program in which funds are granted to states for use in family planning programs. In New Hampshire, those federal funds go to the state department of health and human services, which then distributes the money via Executive Council-approved contracts with New Hampshire agencies.
Why is Title X in the news, and what is the Protect Life Rule?
Title X explicitly excludes direct funding for abortion. This year, the federal government (Trump Administration) has enacted the Protect Life Rule barring Title X funds not only from being used for abortion, but even from being given to agencies that perform or refer for abortion.
This recognizes the fact that there is no practical difference between funding abortion and funding abortion providers. Every public dollar that goes to an abortion provider for non-abortion work helps to subsidize the abortion side of the business, by means of overhead such as facilities, equipment, utilities, and staffing.
The Protect Life Rule does not reduce the amount of family planning money coming from the federal government. At the same time, it respects the conscience rights of everyone who recognizes that abortion is not health care and that each abortion ends a human life.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have had it both ways in the past, providing abortion and federally-subsidized family planning under the same roof. They oppose the Protect Life Rule. Their message to you is, “Shut up and pay. We’ve got a business to run.”
When the rule went into effect on August 19, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, a New Hampshire Title X provider, announced thatit would cease taking Title X funds rather than stop performing and referring for abortions. Several other Title X providers followed suit, putting abortion politics ahead of the needs of patients.
PPNNE calls the Protect Life Rule a “gag rule,” saying it inhibits communication between patients and providers. In fact, all the new rule inhibits is the ability of abortion providers to use public money, including indirectly, to perform, refer or promote abortion.
What does this have to do with the New Hampshire state budget?
In the proposed state budget that was vetoed in June by Governor Sununu, abortion-friendly legislators inserted money into the public health budget to make up for any loss of federal funds that an abortion provider might experience under the Protect Life Rule. While budget negotiations are ongoing, this provision will remain unless negotiators remove it or Governor Sununu makes it clear he won’t accept it.
What’s the bottom line?
Any abortion provider’s decision to stop participating in the Title X program is a business decision, not a medical one. Don’t reward that business model by using state money to replace federal money!
REMEMBER, Not one dime of our NH Taxpayer dollars should go to abortion! In either form:
DIRECT FUNDING: We do not support the provision proposed in June by House and Senate that would repeal a prohibition on using state funds to pay for abortions directly.
INDIRECT FUNDING: We do not support the indirect funding of abortion currently in the budget in the form of sharp increases in state general funds for family planning, to offset the effect of the Protect Life Rule.
Abortion is not healthcare, and we don’t need to subsidize it with our tax dollars.