Should a Regulation Preventing States From Defunding Abortion Providers be Overturned? (H. Joint Res. 43)
Do you support or oppose this bill?
What is H. Joint Res. 43?
(Updated December 4, 2021)
This bill was enacted on April 13, 2017
This resolution would repeal a Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation that prevents states from denying family planning funding under Title X of the Public Health Service Act to organizations because they provide abortion services. The rule was finalized during the final weeks of the Obama administration and took effect on January 18, 2017.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is able to overturn regulations finalized within the last 60 legislative days with simple majority votes on a joint resolution of disapproval in both chambers and the president’s signature. CRA resolutions also prevent the federal agency that created the regulation from issuing a similar rule without being directed to do so by Congress.
Federal funding for abortions is prohibited under the Hyde Amendment (which the House recently voted to make permanent), but tax dollars can still go to healthcare providers that offer abortion services for other purposes.
Argument in favor
States should be able to prevent grant funding for family planning from going to abortion providers if they’d rather prioritize providers of of comprehensive primary and preventive care. Money is fungible, it can be spent on anything, and when taxpayer dollars go to abortion providers they’re essentially a government subsidy.
Federal funding is already prohibited from going to abortion providers. Preventing government funding from going to abortion providers will limit women’s reproductive healthcare options and undercut other essential services those organizations offer like access to contraception, testing for sexually transmitted diseases or cancer.
People receiving family planning services at providers that offer abortion services; healthcare providers; states; and HHS.
Cost of H. Joint Res. 43
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced this resolution overturning the Obama administration’s rule blocking states from defunding abortion providers along with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who introduced companion legislation in the Senate. In a joint op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Black and Ernst condemned the Obama administration’s “final parting gift to Planned Parenthood” and added:
“State legislatures around the country have spoken out about their preference for prioritizing more comprehensive primary and preventative care for the receipt of Title X funding, and their voice should be respected by bureaucrats in the federal government… According to its 2014-2015 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortion procedures in just one year. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the abortion industry in this country. Nor should they be forced to foot the bill for an organization like Planned Parenthood that has displayed such blatant disregard for human life.”
The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote an op-ed calling on the Trump administration to not overturn the Obama administration’s regulation. They fear that overturning it could force states to opt to “forgo federal planning dollars, to the detriment of the health clinics that millions of lower-income people have come to rely on for basic healthcare.” The editorial board said that “lawmakers shouldn’t hold women’s health services hostage to their crusade against abortion, which women have a legal right to seek. The HHS rule will help more lower-income women get the reproductive-health and screening services they need.”
This legislation has the support of 146 cosponsors in the House, including 145 Republicans and one Democrat.
Of Note: 10 states prohibit organizations from receiving family planning funds — seven block funding to abortion providers or groups affiliated with abortion providers, while three block all private organizations.
Sponsoring Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) Op-Ed - Washington Examiner
U.S. News and World Report
Family Research Council (In Favor)
Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Opposed)
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons)
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