Congressman Estes Leads Congressional Input on Protect Life Rules; Members Submit Title X Comment Letter

WASHINGTON—Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) was among 140 members of the U.S. House of Representatives that sent a letter today to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing strong support for the Department’s proposed new guidelines called the Protect Life Rule regarding the Title X Family Planning Program. Rep. Estes led efforts on securing the letter and sending it to Secretary Azar.

“This proposed rule restores to the Title X program a bright line of separation between family planning and abortion that is consistent with Congressional intent,” said the letter from Rep. Estes and other Members of Congress. “We urge the Department to promptly finalize the proposed rule.”

In April, Rep. Estes helped lead efforts in Congress to call on the administration to issue new guidelines for Title X funding which would prevent tax dollars from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Currently, Planned Parenthood receives nearly $60 million a year from Title X tax dollars. President Trump announced the Protect Life Rule in May, declaring his “administration has proposed a new rule to prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions.” Today’s letter comes as HHS is taking public comments regarding the new Protect Life Rule. The 60-day open comment period will end July 31.

The new guidelines – similar to previous Reagan-era rules upheld by the Supreme Court – eliminate a current requirement that all Title X recipients refer abortions, stipulate that Title X projects must be conducted by providers physically and financially separated from abortion activities, and increase accountability and oversight in cases of suspected sexual abuse of minors.

To read the full letter, click here.