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Cole Statement on HHS Proposal on Title X Funding Regulations

May 18, 2018
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced updated HHS regulations regarding Title X funding.
“Protecting unborn children and ensuring the safety of minors are fundamental responsibilities that I take very seriously as Chairman with jurisdiction over the Title X Family Planning Program,” said Cole. “I strongly support Secretary Azar and the Trump Administration’s proposal to implement updated regulations governing Title X immediately. Title X regulations were last modified in 2000 under then-President Clinton and, unfortunately, there has been grave concern that these changes deviated significantly from the authorizing statute. The proposal made today by the Trump Administration will return day-to-day operations of family planning programs to greater fidelity with the original law.
“These regulations will first ensure that minors are protected from sex trafficking, abuse and coercive relationships by better enforcing existing requirements carried in the annual appropriations bill I oversee. To ensure compliance with the statutory mandate that abortion shall not be used as a method of birth control, the proposed regulations will also require a clear separation, both physically and financially, of any family planning grantees that also provide abortions.
“Finally, I am extremely pleased that the proposed regulations will allow health care and other professionals to practice in accordance with their consciences by no longer requiring them to refer for abortions.
“I commend President Trump and Secretary Azar for their leadership on this important issue, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside them to preserve and protect the right to life and the right to follow one’s conscience.”