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White House spokeswoman grilled on fungibility of Title X funding

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CNA Staff, Apr 14, 2021 / 14:18 pm America/Denver (CNA).

Earlier today, EWTN’s White House Correspondent Owen Jensen questioned White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the proposed reversal of the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule.

Owen Jensen:  So today, as you well know, the Biden administration and HHS started the reversal of the Trump administration’s ban on abortion referrals at Title 10, family planning clinics. For my first question, why does the Biden administration insist that prolife Americans pay for abortions and violate their conscience?

White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki: Well, first, that’s not an accurate depiction of what happened. And I know we want to be accurate around here. None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. That is written into the Public Health Service Act and it specifically states that.

Owen Jensen: Indirect subsidies, money that is fungible that can’t be traced… We know that, come on.

Jen Psaki: That is not how it works. That is the law. So I’m stating what the law is and how it is implemented legally by these organizations. And the reason I though… since you give me the opportunity. The reason why the president took these steps is because he believes that advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality can be helped by these actions. And by focusing on advancing equity in the Title X program, we can create opportunities for the improvement of communities that have been historically underserved, which benefits everyone. That’s how these fundings are used in communities.

Owen Jensen: You talk about equity. If I may interrupt, how is equity, how is it fighting systemic racism when abortion, we well know, disproportionately affects minority children?

Jen Psaki: Again, funding cannot be used from this for abortion, but access to health care. Access to health care in communities that have been marginalized, underserved, adversely affected by persistent poverty is always going to be something the president fights for.

The proposal from the Biden administration is set to be published April 15. A thirty-day comment period for the public on the proposed changes will then open.

Pro-life advocates have criticized the principle of funding abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, even with prohibitions on the money directly funding abortion. They argue that since money is fungible, the additional funding frees up other funds to go toward abortions.

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