“Chillingly, HHS suggests TANF support for pregnancy centers should be steered toward family planning programs more typical of the business models of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry . . . This seems to be another attempt by the Biden administration to funnel taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J) in demanding that the Biden administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) withdrawal its proposed rule targeting pregnancy centers.
The proposed rule would limit states’ ability to allocate funding provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for alternatives to abortion and pregnancy centers.
“Women deserve better than abortion and should receive support when they choose life for their babies. For decades, pregnancy centers have stood in the gap and generously provided free assistance to women, babies, and families in their moments of need—actions aligned with TANF’s purposes. The Proposed Rule, however, would undermine the TANF program and threaten to strip millions of dollars in support for pregnant women and their unborn babies through pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and alternatives to abortion programs. We urge you to withdraw the Proposed Rule immediately,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Under the Proposed Rule if any TANF expenditure ‘is identified that does not appear to HHS to be reasonably calculated to accomplish a purpose of TANF,’ the State is required to ‘show that it used these funds for a purpose or purposes that a reasonable person would consider to be within one or more of the four purposes of the TANF program.’ While we share the administration’s goal of improving program integrity in TANF, we are concerned that the Proposed Rule focuses specifically on States that direct TANF funds to pregnancy centers and alternatives to abortion programs,” they continued.
“Chillingly, HHS suggests TANF support for pregnancy centers should be steered toward family planning programs more typical of the business models of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry instead. Specifically, HHS states TANF funds should be directed to ‘comprehensive sex education, family planning services, pregnancy prevention programs, and community mobilization services for at risk youth that increase access to pregnancy prevention programs for teens.’ This seems to be another attempt by the Biden administration to funnel taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry,” they concluded.
Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) and 19 members of the House of Representatives also signed the letter.
The full letter is available here.