by Guy Page
The Biden Administration announced yesterday it will restore the Title X family planning funding to abortion providers, reversing a Trump administration ruling.
It remains to be seen whether Gov. Phil Scott will keep his promise to withdraw the state funding allocated to replace the federal funding Planned Parenthood of New England in 2019 chose to refuse rather than stop performing abortions. Vermont Daily Chronicle this morning requested this information from the Scott administration.
The new rule will take effect November 8, according to an announcement from the U.S. Agency of Health and Human Services, led by Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“Advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality, is a priority for the Administration, including the Title X program and the Department,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel L. Levine, M.D. “This 2021 regulation will allow for the Title X service network to expand in size and capacity to provide quality family planning services to more clients.” (Dr. Levine, who is the first openly transgender Cabinet official in U.S. history, is no known relation to Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.)
The Trump administration in 2019 told the nation’s abortion providers they could keep the family planning funding if they stopped performing abortions. Planned Parenthood and most other abortion provider complained vociferously and, when forced to choose, chose to continue performing abortions rather than receive funding for other services.
Vermont’s share of the Title X funding was an estimated $800,000 – all of it paid to Planned Parenthood of New England, whose former lobbyist is the Vermont Speaker of the House, Jill Krowinski. The organization has many other board members and supporters sprinkled throughout the Legislature and state government. After PPNE chose abortions over federal funding, the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Dept. of Health immediately authorized and implemented an annual grant, allocated from the General Fund.
Title X funding is technically open to all applicants, but Planned Parenthood is routinely the recipient, at least in Vermont.
Scott has promised to stop state payments when federal payments are restored, as reported this February:
So Vermont Daily asked the governor at a press conference last week: “Two years ago the State of Vermont replaced in full Title X family planning funding lost by Planned Parenthood when the Trump administration said abortion providers no longer qualified. If, as seems likely, the Biden administration restores Title X funding, will you recommend the Legislature remove the estimated $800K in state funding?”
Scott replied: “If the federal governor is going to provide funding, we will take advantage of that, if we don’t have to utilize state money.”
Categories: Health Care