The following comes from a December 16 Catholic News Agency article by Matt Hadro:

States cannot keep federal grants away from Planned Parenthood clinics, the Obama administration ruled on Wednesday in a move that critics say is a “parting gift to Big Abortion.”

“The Obama administration, even in its waning hours, has chosen to put Planned Parenthood’s Big Abortion agenda ahead of women’s health and the right of states to decide how best to prioritize public health funding so that patients and the most comprehensive health providers come first,” Steven H. Aden, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom stated.

The Department of Health and Human Services released final regulations “to increase access to affordable family planning and preventive services” under Title X grants Dec. 14. The new rule takes effect Jan. 18, two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Title X is a federal program that promotes “family planning” through grants to various providers of health care through the states.

In its new rule, the HHS says that states can’t withhold these grants to certain health providers if they provide the “family planning” services that Title X is based on: “no grant recipient making subawards for the provision of services as part of its Title X project may prohibit an entity from participating for reasons other than its ability to provide Title X services.”

Thus, if states felt that community health centers – which do not provide abortions but offer other health care options like breast cancer screenings – should receive grants over Planned Parenthood affiliates – which provide abortions but not breast cancer screenings or health care that is not preventative – they could not favor the health centers if both recipients met the criteria for the Title X grants.

States such as New Hampshire and Kansas have tried to limit Planned Parenthood affiliates’ funding under the program, the HHS has claimed, but now they can only do so if they “can prove that they disperse birth control better than Planned Parenthood does.”