Bill Introduced to Protect Pro-Life States
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) has taken a stand against the federal public health agency’s coercion of pro-life states into supporting abortion. In a bold move, he introduced the “States Choose Life Act of 2023” to prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from demanding states make referrals for abortion in exchange for receiving Title X health care funding.
Title X is a federal program that aims to provide birth control and reproductive health services to low-income women. However, in 2019, the Trump administration prohibited clinics receiving Title X grants from discussing or referring their pregnant clients to abortion. This decision was made to ensure that American taxpayers were not forced to subsidize the abortion industry through federal funding.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration began reversing this policy in October 2021. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of the Trump-era Title X rule, leading pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood to withdraw from the federal program.
Under the current rule, clinics receiving Title X funding must inform pregnant women about all available options, including abortion. Using this as a basis, the HHS suspended $75 million in Title X funding to Tennessee, a state where performing or inducing abortion is illegal, with limited exceptions.
Title X Funding Used as a Coercive Tool
Rep. Green did not mince words when calling out HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. He accused the department of using Title X funding as a cudgel to force states into participating in abortions or risk losing funding.
“States should have the freedom to make their own choices without facing financial or other repercussions from the federal government,” stated Rep. Green. “No medical professional should be compelled to refer patients for abortions against their conscience.”
In an attempt to justify their decision, HHS officials wrote a letter to Tennessee health chief Ralph Alvarado, claiming that the state was not in compliance with Title X regulatory requirements. They argued that the state’s policy of only sharing information about options legal in Tennessee was unacceptable.
Rep. Green dismissed this argument, asserting that the Biden administration’s Title X rule is in
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