The GOP plan would cut all $327 million from Title X.
That prompted an angry response from pro-choice groups, who said the program provides contraception and cancer screening, among other services.
“While these politicians attack abortion coverage from every angle, they now want to deny funding for birth control, even though that’s the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Title X recipients cannot use the money to provide abortions. But some conservatives have sought to tie together the two issues.
Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.), has proposed a bill that would prevent abortion providers from receiving Title X money. Mr. Pence has made it clear his legislation is aimed at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which is the nation’s biggest provider of abortion services and also a major recipient of Title X money.
“The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X,” Mr. Pence said at a recent “March for Life.” “The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.”
Anti-abortion groups, in something of a new tactic, have been elevating their attacks on Planned Parenthood in recent weeks. The cite videos that purport to show Planned Parenthood staffers providing advice to people who say they’ve involved in sex trafficking of teens. Planned Parenthood says the videos are doctored, but they’ve also fired an employee and announced a new round of training.
Several other agencies and programs that hit cultural nerves are targeted under the GOP spending plan. All federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would end. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Legal Services Corp. would take hits.
This ensures that the coming debate over spending will revolve around social and cultural issues as well as economic ones. Rep. Hal Rogers (R., Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who released the proposed cuts, defended them as necessary to get spending under control.
“While making these cuts is hard, we have a unique opportunity to right our fiscal ship,” he said.