"For decades, multiple Congresses and presidential administrations, the pro-life movement has fought to at least slow federal tax subsidies for abortion providers but has failed to do so - until now," Head told the New York Times.
Title X is a federal program created in 1965 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families. It gives out about $250 million in grants each year.
The HHS also announced multiple three-year Tile X grants to seven Planned Parenthood affiliates, with the total running at least $16 million, according to HHS grant listings. The department is cutting grants to some Planned Parenthood affiliates. Four affiliates in Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia, lost funding. These serve about 40,000 people in their regions.
Direct federal funding of abortion is usually barred by law, but the abortion provider receives grants for other services.
Planned Parenthood was critical of Obria, its fellow HHS grantee, as well as the Trump administration.
"Today, they are removing funding from these trusted health centers and providing funding to entities that do not provide evidence-based treatment," objected Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood.
She contended there was a "continued attack" on Title X that will result in "dismantling our nation's program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, risking access to comprehensive health care for millions of low-income women and families."
Essential Access Health, another California-based grantee, received $21 million for fiscal year 2019 to provide family planning services.
Julie Rabinovitz, president and CEO of Essential Access Health, said her organization was "very concerned" by the grant to Obria, alleging "they're denying women information about all their health care options." She said this could reduce progress in "reducing unintended pregnancies."
New rules remove the abortion counseling requirement and require a physical and financial separation between recipients of Title X funds and facilities that perform abortions, meaning that abortion clinics will be ineligible. Clinics that provide "nondirective counseling" about abortion can still receive funds.
HHS announced these changes Feb. 22, characterizing them as the "Protect Life Rule."
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In February March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said the move prevents Title X funds "from being misused by those who promote and profit from abortion."
"Abortion is not healthcare, yet for decades the federal government has voluntarily supported abortion by subsidizing the industry with hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year," she said.
Planned Parenthood could lose about $60 million in federal funds annually due to the rule change. The organization is still eligible for federal funds that are not part of Title X. Last year, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million in federal funding.
Planned Parenthood and Democratic-governed states have filed lawsuits challenging the new rules.
While critics of abortion have long opposed giving Title X funds to the largest abortion provider in the U.S., Planned Parenthood has come under renewed controversy since Center for Medical Progress videos appeared to show leaders involved in the illegal sale of fetal tissue and unborn baby parts.
Other critics of the Obria grant include the Campaign for Accountability advocacy group. Its counsel Alice Huling charged that the grant shows the Trump administration is "more interested in courting religious ideologues than in providing real health care to low-income Americans."