By W.H. MARSHNER
March 20, 1975
Did you ever hear of the Dingell Amendment? It prevents Federal funds from being used by HEW to pay for abortions under the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, to which it was attached in 1970. It is still on the books. It says, ‘‘None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Meanwhile, there exists an HEW program whose direct effect, year after year, is to keep the abortionists in gravy. In the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1975, this gravy will amount to $215,500,000 at least. One hundred and fifty million dollars of that sum will be distributed in program grants going for the most part to the administrators of Planned Parenthood affiliates which offer abortion services as part of their total package — especially “teen scene” operations specializing in “quick fixes” without parental knowledge or consent. Another $60 million will go into research grants for “contraceptive developments,” which means large hunks of bread for people like the mad scientists at Upjohn who will continue to feel unfulfilled until they discover the world’s most lethal abortifacient. Another four million dollars will be used to train paramedical workers who will specialize in IUD installations, saline injections, and the high art of curettage.
The joke is that this latter program and the one to which the Dingell Amendment is attached are one and the same thing: The Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, alias the Tydings Act, alias Title X.
If you want to see a bravura performance in bureaucratic casuistry watch HEW reconcile these expenditures with the letter of the law. If you want to see an equally dazzling exercise in bureaucratic cowardice, watch the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) find “no abuse” in HEW’s behavior.
Within the next few weeks, the Senate is expected to vote on continuing funds for this program through the end of fiscal 1976. The precise bill is S. 66, introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), on Jan. 15th, and co-sponsored by Senators Javits (R., N.Y.), Williams (D., N.J.), Randolph (D., W.V.), Pell (D., R.I.), Nelson (D., Wis.), Mondale (D., MN.), Cranston (D., CA.), Hathaway (D., Maine), Schweiker (R., Pa.), and Stafford (R., VT.). It is a composite bill, in which the abortion crowd’s annual bonanza is sandwiched in between unrelated matters such as nurses’ training assistants and health revenue sharing. (The same patchwork was introduced in the House as H.R. 2954; it has cleared the Health Affairs Subcommittee and is now before the Rules Committee.) The USCC’s Office of Government Liaison has admitted that it has no plan either to oppose these bills or to amend them.
Thank Heaven, therefore, for the National Right-to-Life Committee, which has at least sent out a legislative alert asking that S. 66 and H.R. 2954 be divided so as to remove the offensive “family planning” sections. Once removed, this Federal subsidy for death merchants would have to survive on its own and — best of all — might have to face hearings into past abuses, especially the use of funds for abortions or abortifacient drugs and devices and for testing dangerous “contraceptives” on mental patients and other human guinea pigs. Meanwhile, in case the bill fails to be divided, at least three pro-life senators are quietly preparing amendments by which to close the abortion money conflict in the measures as they now stand.
The Wanderer will report the progress of these maneuvers in the coming weeks, of course; but already there is something quite important our readers can do. Send a letter to your congressman and to one on both senators saying that you are aware that S. 66 and H.R. 2954 are coming up, that both bills contain provisions to continue funding for the Tydings Act, that there have been significant abuses under this program in the past, whereby HEW has blurred or overstepped the line between family planning and abortion, and that, in light of these abuses you want Section II B (the Family Planning and Population Research Act of 1975) to be considered separately and to be subjected to full public hearing.
Such a letter is especially crucial if your congressman happens to be a member of the House Rules Committee, which does have the power to remove the offending section.