Grace DuBois – 7/27/18


This page was last updated on July 30, 2018.

Mayor thanked for standing up for families; Grace DuBois (GD); Beaver County Times; July 27, 2018.

Below is a review of the subject letter.

“I want to thank Mayor Dwan Walker of Aliquippa for bravely standing up for Pennsylvania families by protesting the Trump administration’s unconscionable decision to risk the lives of millions of women in the name of partisan politics.”

[RWC] This letter is one falsehood after another.

Even if you make it to the end of this letter, it’s possible you still won’t have a clue what GD is writing about.  GD’s wound up about proposed changes to “Title X of the Public Health Service Act.”  According to the proposal, “‘Family planning,’ as clearly manifested by the text of Title X and bolstered by its legislative history, refers to activities with the purpose of facilitating the initiation of, or preventing, pregnancy, not terminating it.”

Title X has always banned the use of federal government tax dollars for abortions and the proposal appears to add measures to make that happen.  For example, the proposal states, “A Title X project may not perform, promote, refer for, or support, abortion as a method of family planning, nor take any other affirmative action to assist a patient to secure such an abortion.  If asked, a medical doctor may provide a list of licensed, qualified, comprehensive health service providers (some, but not all, of which also provide abortion, in addition to comprehensive prenatal care), but only if a woman who is currently pregnant clearly states that she has already decided to have an abortion.  This list is only to be provided to a woman who, of her own accord, makes such a request.  The list shall not identify the providers who perform abortion as such.  All other patients will be provided, upon request, a list of licensed, qualified, comprehensive health service providers (including providers of prenatal care) who do not provide abortion as a part of their services.”

This is what opponents of the proposal are talking about when they use the terms “gag rule” and “domestic gag rule.”  Note the exceptions for “a woman who is currently pregnant.”

Another measure “would prohibit locating a Title X supported family planning program in a fashion which would not be physically and financially separate.”  This is a point I’ve been noting since at least 2011.  Since dollars are fungible, all recipients of tax dollars need to do is shift money around from their various funding sources.  As a result, there’s no way organizations like Planned Parenthood can credibly claim tax dollars aren’t used to fund abortions unless they stop performing abortions or stop receiving tax dollars.  It’s naïve to think a sufficiently motivated pro-abortion “Title X supported family planning program” won’t find a way around the “physically and financially separate” requirement.

“If the so-called ‘domestic gag rule’ is implemented, more than 200,000 of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians will lose access to basic preventive health care, including potentially lifesaving services such as cancer screenings.  That’s why I’m grateful to Mayor Walker who, along with 18 other Pennsylvania mayors representing more than 2 million people, demanded that the Department of Health and Human Services not move forward with this harmful policy.”

[RWC] Here’s the letter “bravely” signed by Mayor Walker and 80 other mayors.  In case you’re wondering, I did not count the signatures.

As an old saying goes, “he who pays the piper calls the tune.”  If these mayors want control closer to home, they should push legislation to eliminate the federal role so states and/or municipalities can institute programs tailored to their specific needs.

“The most egregious aspect of the Trump administration’s ill-conceived ‘gag rule’ is the fact that it would disproportionately harm the most vulnerable among us.  As the mayors stated in their letter to HHS, this policy represents ‘an attack on the well-being and economic security of those who already face barriers to accessing health care and need it most.’”

[RWC] Since unborn babies are surely “the most vulnerable among us,” how would the proposal “disproportionately harm” them?

Title X was designed to ensure that all Americans, regardless of circumstance, could have access to basic preventive careMillions of people across the country rely on it to keep their families healthy, and I appreciate Mayor Walker standing up for all of them.”

[RWC] The first sentence is completely false.  According to the “U.S. Department of Health & Human Services” (HHS), “Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals and others.”  The emphasis in the previous sentence is mine.

If “Millions of people across the country rely on it to keep their families healthy,” they’re looking in the wrong place for anything unrelated to “family planning and related preventive health services.”  Title X clinics aren’t your family doctor or primary care physician.

Finally, consider this.  For the sake of argument, let’s say GD’s claim “Title X was designed to ensure that all Americans, regardless of circumstance, could have access to basic preventive care” is true.  If getting all that wonderfulness requires Title X clinics not to assist in killing unborn babies (our “most vulnerable Pennsylvanians”) in any way, is GD telling us that price is too high?

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