(The Center Square) – Tennessee and Oklahoma will receive a combined $11.3 million in federal Title X money in a workaround after the states were denied that money earlier this year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that $3.9 million each in federal funds will go to both the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood and Converge Inc. in Mississippi to expanded services into Tennessee.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Family Health Council will receive $3.3 million to expand service into Oklahoma.
HHS withheld $4.5 million in federal Title X funds from Oklahoma earlier this year and more than $7 million from Tennessee. Title X, according to the federal website, “is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said the maneuver was “wrong on many levels” and HHS should correct its actions.
“The federal government withheld critical funding from TN families, so they could funnel taxpayer dollars to a radical political organization,” Lee said on social media. “Some things should simply rise above politics – especially resources that TN mothers, children & families have counted on for decades.”
Earlier this year, HHS provided Tennessee with notice, because it was not complying with federal regulations, it was recommended to not receive Title X funding.
“Title X recipients must follow all federal regulatory requirements regarding nondirective options counseling and referrals, including providing referrals for abortion upon client request,” the letter from HHS’ Office of Population Affairs said.
The Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition objected to the move to shift federal funding to Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi through a workaround that its CEO acknowledged in a statement to media, saying the group partnered with the Virginia office to receive the funding.
“It is also egregious to note that the Biden Administration ignores and enables the evil history and practices of Planned Parenthood by giving them more taxpayer dollars, as their founder Margaret Sanger demonstrated in her writings and speeches, as evidenced in their targeting of minority communities, and their sick practices involving the tissue of dead children,” the Faith and Freedom Coalition said in a statement. “Furthermore, it is ridiculous to give that organization taxpayer money, irregardless of one’s position on abortion.
“Roe v. Wade is dead and the world is better for it. Women deserve better than abortion.”