HHS takes millions in Title X funding from Tennessee, gives to Planned Parenthood instead

Millions of dollars in federal aid originally intended for the state of Tennessee were instead sent to Planned Parenthood.

In April, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it withholds millions in Title X grants because the state will not require physicians to refer patients for abortions that are illegal in the state. Now, about $8 million that would have gone to the state health department is being given to Planned Parenthood.

“The federal government is denying Tennessee funding that has supported critical maternal and family care for thousands of Tennesseans for decades,” said Jade Byers, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Lee, on Live Action News in April when the HHS decision was announced. “As we discuss next steps in the Attorney General’s office, Governor Lee will fulfill his promise to serve families by proposing to amend the state budget to include state dollars to fill the void that caused by the decision of the federal government.”

In that vein, Lee did suggest a budget amendment of $7.5 million in recurring funding, and an additional $1.8 million in non-recurring funding, to make up for the loss of funding in the current fiscal year. He expressed his displeasure at the news that federal money will now go to Planned Parenthood.

“The federal government decided to cut off those funds in Tennessee and what it did was leave out the women and children at risk that we want to serve,” Lee said Tuesday.

According to the Commercial Appeal, under the deal, $3.9 million will be sent to the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, which will bring the money to Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi (PPTNM). Another $3.9 million will go to Converge, Inc. a reproductive health organization from Mississippi that will also direct money to Planned Parenthood.

Ashley Colfield, the president and CEO of PPTNM, praised the reassignment of the money.


“Our governor jeopardized access to birth control, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings when he refused to comply with Title X’s requirements for unbiased patient information,” she said. “Direct grantees in Virginia and Mississippi will use these funds to ensure services are available in Tennessee and we look forward to working with the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood as a subgrantee.”

Although Planned Parenthood often frames itself as a necessary provider of women’s health services, the statistics show otherwise. For years, the abortion corporation has claimed that abortion makes up only about 3-4% of its annual services, even though that claim is debunked. Planned Parenthood is promising about 40% of all abortions in the United States. Meanwhile, data from the organization’s 2021-2022 annual report shows that the number of cancer diagnoses provided by the organization is down more than 78% since 2004, and preventive care visits have dropped 20% since 2016 – clearly, women with actual health care needs are not going to Planned Parenthood for these services.

Lee criticized the government’s move on X.

“The federal government withheld critical funding from TN families, so they could funnel taxpayer dollars to a radical political organization,” he said. “Some things must rise politically—especially the resources that TN mothers, children and families have been waiting for for decades.”

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