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Archbishop Naumann: Biden administration ‘wrong’ to fund abortion providers

Joe Bukuras By Joe Bukuras for CNA

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., speaks during the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast May 24, 2018 in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Washington D.C., Oct 8, 2021 / 10:01 am (CNA).

The U.S. bishops’ pro-life chairman said on Thursday that the Biden administration is “wrong” for reopening federal funding of abortion providers in the Title X program.

This week, the administration published a final rule stating clinics receiving Title X family planning funding could refer for abortions, and did not have to be physically and financially separate from abortion facilities. The rule reversed regulations put in place by the Trump administration to separate Title X funding from abortion providers.

“The Administration is wrong to allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortion providers who participate in a pre-pregnancy program specifically designed to exclude abortion,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Title X is a federal program created in 1970 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families. The original statute that created the program specified that no funds “shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”

“Title X was intended and authorized to be a program entirely separate from abortion,” Archbishop Naumann said.

“Abortion is not family planning,” he said. “Abortion takes the life of an already-conceived and growing child. The violence of abortion wounds countless women physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”

Naumann added that bishops have grave concerns about government promotion of contraceptives, and have long supported efforts to ensure that abortion is kept physically and financially separate from family planning under Title X.

Under the Clinton administration’s update to the program in 2000, grant recipients had to provide abortion counseling and abortion referrals to clients upon request.

Then in 2018, the Trump administration first proposed requiring a strict physical and financial line of separation between Title X recipients and any program or facility that performs abortion, or refers for abortion. This requirement, now known as the Protect Life Rule, was implemented in March 2019.

The Protect Life Rule barred Title X recipients from referring for or performing abortions, and required recipients to be both physically and financially separate from facilities that perform abortions. Planned Parenthood in August 2019 announced it would stop participating in the program rather than comply with the new regulations.

Now, the Biden administration has officially rescinded the Protect Life Rule, after President Biden – in one of his first actions in office – announced his intent to do so.

In January, Naumann responded to Biden’s announcement and said that “by rescinding this rule, the Administration will be forcing abortion into a pre-pregnancy program specifically designed to exclude abortion; a move which is immoral, impractical, and may also be unlawful.”

An Oct. 4 press release from the Department of Health and Human Services said that the new rule will “impact actions announced earlier including grants to support telehealth and address the dire need for family planning services following recent events in Texas and across the country to limit access to essential reproductive healthcare.” In September, HHS had announced it would award up to $10 million for emergency contraceptives and family planning to clinics in Texas and around the country, in the wake of the state’s new restrictions on abortion.

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  1. The archbishop might want to send a thank you note to his “brother bishops” Tobin, Cupich, Gregory, McElroy, etc., who publicly supported Biden’s election. Preaching to the administration and public is pointless. Try convincing the hirelings who give Biden Catholic cover to undermine Catholic teaching.

    • Amen, Mr. Pfannenstiel! Amen!

      I remember seeing a photo in the early sixties of a saffron-robed Buddhist monk engulfed in fire in the street outside the US embassy in Saigon. He was immolating himself in protest over the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government.

      I was horrified at the sight, so much so that that monk’s dying moment has stayed with me for nearly sixty years.

      Now, I certainly don’t advocate — or even condone — such an action. But I do yearn for that level of passion, of commitment, of urgency, from Catholic leaders.

      And, as serious as the situation was in South Vietnam in the early sixties, the stakes are higher now, here, for us.

      Sixty. Million. Children. Have. Died. And that’s just in the U.S.

      Who knows how many scores or even hundreds of millions more have been killed around the world, deaths that we instituted, that we funded.

      It is by far the most horrendous killing spree humanity has ever witnessed.

      When will our bishops react to that fact?

      Bishop Naumann says it’s “wrong” for our government to fund abortion?

      Come on. Couldn’t he come up with a wimpier, less emphatic, more humdrum term than that?

      I suggest he go back to his dictionary of bureaucratese and water down his already highly viscous message with descriptives like “unacceptable” and “questionable” and “regrettable.”


      Do we as Catholics even care? At all?

      God forgive us, do we even care?

  2. Abortion is murder, period. Our wimpy bishops are, as a group (notable exceptions excluded), wimpy. God will judge their intentions in accepting vaccines that are morally compromised and telling Catholics that the connection to abortion is sufficiently remote as to approve the injections. Well, except Johnson and Johnson, which was apparently not sufficiently remote to be acceptable — UNLESS there is no alternative available. Killing a baby is wrong, unless it was so long ago as to be remote. Fetal cell research is wrong, unless it was so long ago as to be remote — even if the cells are still being used in research, development, production and/or testing of the vaccines. Relativism is wrong, the bishops have warned, but isn’t this exactly what they are promoting with the vaccines?

  3. Planned Parenthood is one of the main money laundering entities of the socialists/democrats and their party faithful.It can’t be defunded.That’s only for the Police.Even after 60 Million lost souls of Gods creation have been snuffed out.The democrats want more Life destroyed.And the Devils Band plays on.

  4. There is the phrase,” Better late than never.” I don’t think that applies here. Biden is doing what he said he would do when he was running for president. The time for the bishops to speak out was a year ago. Their voting guide could have said that being not only for abortion, but for expanding it, was a disqualifying issue – but they did not. However, in reading all of their ongoing statements regarding immigration, one could easily get the idea that they would consider actually securing our borders a disqualifying issue.
    Where is the outrage? The bishops’ statements on abortion often sound no more intense than disagreements on the weather forecast.

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