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Congressman Diane Black

Representing the 6th District of Tennessee

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Rep. Black Lambasts Proposed HHS Rule to Prop Up Planned Parenthood

September 6, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a registered nurse, author of the House-passed Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, and member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives,  responded to a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that could prevent states from blocking Title X funding (federal dollars for family planning services) to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Black released the following statement:

“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” said Congressman Diane Black. “We’ve known all along that the Obama Administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry. After all, this Administration has previously used backdoor maneuvers to line Planned Parenthood’s pockets with Obamacare navigator grants and praised the abortion provider’s ‘high ethical standard’ even after it was caught trafficking in baby body parts. Now, they have taken the unprecedented step of thwarting states’ rights with a shady proposed rule change that prevents states from funding the providers who will best serve their citizens.  In the coming days, I intend to lead a letter expressing the deep concerns of Members of Congress on this proposal, but we won’t stop there. We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider.”

Background:
Under current state law, the state of Tennessee doles out Title X funding provided by HHS to county health departments, who then determine appropriate sub-grantees. All 95 counties have identified community health centers and other providers aside from Planned Parenthood who meet all Title X eligibility criteria to receive this funding, effectively cutting off Planned Parenthood’s access to Title X funds in the state of Tennessee. The proposed rule from HHS cites other examples of states such as Florida and Texas enacting or attempting to enact similar measures. The rule would attempt to undermine such state laws, explaining that it “precludes project recipients [states] from using criteria in their selection of subrecipients that are unrelated to the ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”