After losing in court earlier this month, Planned Parenthood is seeking an emergency injunction in its appeal to stop the Department of Health and Human Services from adding the Protect Life Rule — because, they say, they would be “irreparably harmed” by it. As Live Action News previously reported, “under the new rules, Title X projects will not be allowed to refer women for abortions. Any organization that receives family planning funds will also be required to keep facilities where abortions are committed separate from facilities where family planning care is provided.”
Courthouse News reports that U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden previously ruled that “the challenge was premature since the awards have not yet been granted,” but Planned Parenthood is saying if they wait and then don’t receive the money from taxpayers, they may have to pare down operations or close facilities:
Attorney Paul Wolfson… said Tuesday that if his clients do not receive grants for the upcoming fiscal year, which the Department of Health and Human Services is poised to award mid-August, they will have to lay staff off in mass and possibly shutter clinics….”
Courthouse News adds, “Department of Justice attorney Alicia Hunt meanwhile argued that any perceived harm to Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association is ‘speculative’ at this point, since they remain eligible to be awarded Title X grants.”
While Planned Parenthood publicly emphasizes its “health services” and downplays the abortion side of its business, it is revealing that Planned Parenthood’s attorney seems to believe Planned Parenthood will no longer qualify for Title X funding. Again – the qualifications are that Title X recipients cannot refer women for abortions, and that they need to separate their abortion facilities from the facilities where other “family planning” services are offered. There have been (and may still be) individual Planned Parenthood facilities which do not offer abortion services — however, because abortion is profitable (and Planned Parenthood does more than 300,000 annually, holding 35% of the market share), Planned Parenthood announced in 2010 that abortions must be offered in at least one facility per affiliate. This caused some affiliates to split from the abortion giant so that they could offer family planning services without abortion.
Planned Parenthood attorneys lamented the idea that the new HHS rule would affect the abortion giant, “leaving millions of Title X patients without much-needed health care.” But we already know that Federally Qualified Health Centers can absorb, if need be, Planned Parenthood’s 2.5 million (or so) patients each year. Live Action News’ Carole Novielli reported in 2017:
This claim is patently false and was previously dismantled by the defenders of ObamaCare…. In other words, yes, FQHCs can handle Planned Parenthood’s patient load. After all, Planned Parenthood has lost more than half a million patients (600,000) since 2011, while taxpayer-funded health centers, as identified by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), saw a 2 million patient increase by 2015, providing care to 24,295,946 patients.
If Planned Parenthood closes some facilities — as it has been doing on its own, even while increasing its federal funding, for years now — women will still have access to healthcare.