Biden Denies Oklahoma Health Care Funds Because It Won’t Use Them to Pay for Abortions

Pro-life states’ efforts to expand essential health care to women and families are being thwarted by the very same people who accuse these states of failing to provide it.

First, it was Texas, and now Oklahoma has been denied funding to expand medical care to low-income women by President Joe Biden’s administration. The Federalist described the president’s latest action as “weaponizing” his power against states that protect unborn babies from abortion.

According to the report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently rescinded a $4.5 million Title X grant to the Oklahoma State Department of Health to provide family planning services, such as birth control, counseling, STI testing and treatment, and other health services, to low-income individuals.

In May, HHS accused Oklahoma of being “out of compliance” with the family planning program and therefore ineligible for the grant money.

The reason: abortion.

Oklahoma protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions and taxpayer funding for abortions. But to receive the grant money, the Biden administration now requires states to promote abortions through abortion referrals.

“… HHS has chosen to prioritize abortion instead of prioritizing actual health care,” federal lawmakers from Oklahoma responded Thursday in a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

The pro-life lawmakers said the Title X grants provide health care to about 30,000 people every year in Oklahoma, and revoking the funds puts their health at risk. Now, innocent people are “caught in the crossfire of HHS’ continued work to promote abortion,” they told the federal agency, according to The Federalist.

The letter, signed by U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Markwayne Mullin, and U.S. Reps. Josh Brecheen, Stephanie Bice, Kevin Hern, Frank Lucas and Tom Cole, demanded that HHS restore the funds and help Oklahomans access health care.

What’s more, they said the Biden administration based its defunding decision on its own “willfully ignorant” misinterpretation of federal law.

Title X funds are not supposed to be used for abortions. The program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and the law states that grants may not be used “where abortion is a method of family planning.” In 2021, however, the Biden administration implemented a new rule that contradicts the law and requires Title X recipients to refer for abortions. A dozen states sued to challenge the pro-abortion rule, but it remains in effect.

The report continues:

Contrary to the Biden HHS’s misinterpretation, Section 1008 of Title X prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding programs that aid or provide abortion. The Weldon Amendment, similarly, says the government can’t discriminate against grantees “on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.”

“Weldon’s prohibition against discrimination could not be clearer: no funds appropriated to HHS can be used to discriminate against a health care entity for not referring for abortions. Yet, that is exactly what HHS is doing by suspending OSDH’s award,” the legislators argued.

Oklahoma lawmakers said their low-income residents shouldn’t be denied health care because their state protects unborn babies’ lives.

“Abortion is not family planning; it is family destruction,” they told Becerra. “Every abortion takes an unborn child’s life. Oklahoma’s laws protect women and unborn children from the violence of abortion in the interest of promoting families, keeping Oklahomans safe, and protecting life.”

Abortion activists and Democrats have been accusing pro-life states of providing inadequate health care and driving away doctors, but these very same people are trying to stop pro-life states from providing better health care to their residents.

Texas is another example. In 2022, the Biden administration denied a bipartisan request from the Texas Legislature to expand Medicaid for mothers of newborns.

Texas was the first state to protect unborn babies by banning most abortions in 2021. Now, the state bans all elective abortions, and pro-life advocates and lawmakers are working to expand support services for families in need.

Essential health care should be an issue that Republicans and Democrats, pro-life and pro-abortion activists can work together on. But the Biden administration is playing politics with people’s lives instead.

Original Article: