Defunding Planned Parenthood? The Trump administration proposed new rules last Friday that would make Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers ineligible from receiving federal family planning funds. Specifically, the money would restrict the distribution of money authorized by Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Existing rules allow abortion providers to receive Title X funds if they do not spend them on abortion-related activities. Planned Parenthood receives around $60 million a year in Title X funds, which is about 20 percent of the more than $300-million the organization receives from taxpayers. If a court does not block the new rules, they will go into effect 60 days after their publication in the Federal Register, expected in the coming days. However, Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups have promised to seek an injunction.
Pro-Life Tipping Point. Several states, including New York and Virginia, have attempted to make late-term abortions easier in recent months. However, those efforts may have been too much for the American people. A new Marist poll taken Feb. 12-17 finds Americans are now just as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as “pro-choice” (47 percent). As recently as a month ago, a similar survey found that 55 percent of Americans identified as “pro-choice” and only 38 percent “pro-life.” If future surveys confirm these results, we may be witnessing a “tipping point” in the attitudes of Americans on abortion.
Abortion Post-Roe. Not all the news coming out of the states related to abortion is bad. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last week signed a law that would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Arkansas joins Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota in passing a law that would prohibit abortions in most circumstances in a post-Roe v. Wade America.
Gender Chaos. Several major U.S. airlines said they are updating their booking software to add a third gender option for passengers. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines said the change will be made in the next several weeks. United Airlines said “in the coming weeks their passengers will be able to identify themselves, as M(ale), F(emale), U(undisclosed), or X(unspecified.” Further, “customers who do not identify with a gender will have the option of selecting ‘Mx.’ as a title.”
Pro-Gay Diplomacy. The U.S ambassador to Germany last week announced a campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality globally. Ambassador Richard Grenell said the push will include the European Union, the United Nations, other U.S. embassies, and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Grenell kicked off the campaign with a dinner that included a dozen LGBT advocates. About 70 countries around the world—mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean—have laws that criminalize homosexual identity or conduct. Grenell, who is openly gay, was nominated by President Trump to be ambassador to Germany in 2017, but his confirmation by Congress was controversial. He eventually received Senate confirmation, 56-42, in May of last year.
Warren Cole Smith is the Vice-President of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.