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Attorney General Wilson warns HHS that it cannot federally fund abortion

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 18, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a group of 20 other attorneys general in demanding the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services decline to adopt a proposed regulation that would illegally subsidize abortion.

Title X — a federal law that funds family-planning services — expressly prohibits its funds from being used to support elective abortions. However, in April, HHS proposed to overturn a policy by the previous administration robustly enforcing this legal requirement. The existing policy, issued in 2019, requires federally funded Title X family planning clinics to be physically and financially independent from abortion clinics. The letter from the attorneys general comes as HHS is weighing the new proposal that would allow the commingling of funds and undercut the purpose of the Title X law.

“The policy that was issued in 2019 was specifically to prevent abortion clinics from skirting Title X’s ban on federal tax dollars from being used for abortions,” Attorney General Wilson said. “If abortion clinics are following the law, there’s no reason for HHS to eliminate this policy.”

Earlier this year, 18 states joined a motion led by Ohio AG Dave Yost filed in the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the 2019 rules and protect funding limitations that Congress imposed when it enacted Title X. The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed that lawsuit, in anticipation of HHS considering comments on its proposed rule.

Joining AG Yost in signing onto the letter to HHS are attorneys general from the states of: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

You can read the letter here.