In what has been described as a "final parting gift to Planned Parenthood," the Obama administration issued a rule at the end of December to secure federal Title X family planning grants for Planned Parenthood and interfere with states' ability to make their own decisions about the best eligible providers for their citizens.
Rarely do the American people benefit when the federal government attempts to subvert the will of the people's elected representatives and substitute its judgment for that of state or local governments. State legislatures around the country have spoken out about their preference for prioritizing more comprehensive primary and preventative care providers for the receipt of Title X funding, and their voice should be respected by bureaucrats in the federal government.
With this in mind, next week we plan to introduce resolutions in the House and Senate to overturn the Obama administration's 11th hour rule to entrench federal funding for Planned Parenthood – the nation's single largest provider of abortion.
Importantly, after we – along with more than 100 of our colleagues – pointed out to the Obama administration that it could not objectively prove that Planned Parenthood is more "effective" than other eligible Title X providers, they acknowledged as much in their final rule. As such, the final rule drops any reference to the "effectiveness" of Title X providers.
Additionally we have also advocated to redirect federal funding from Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health center (FQHC) sites – which provide more comprehensive healthcare services, regardless of a person's ability to pay. In fact, there are approximately 14 FQHC sites for every one Planned Parenthood clinic nationwide.
According to its 2014-2015 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortion procedures in just one year. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the abortion industry in this country. Nor should they be forced to foot the bill for an organization like Planned Parenthood that has displayed such blatant disregard for human life.
With a pro-life president in the White House and pro-life majorities in the House and Senate, we will continue to work together this year to undo the damage done by the Obama administration. Today, along with thousands who will converge on the National Mall for the March for Life, we will mark the beginning of a new era committed to protecting and defending life.
Joni Ernst is a senator from Iowa and Diane Black is a congresswoman from Tennessee's 6th congressional district.